Alexander Channer admits murder of Colin Payne in Helston

Colin Payne
Image caption Colin Payne's body was found at his home in Helston

A man has admitted murdering a retired postmaster who was found dead in his flat in west Cornwall.

The body of Colin Payne, 72, was discovered in the flat at Sanctuary Lane in Helston on 17 June last year.

Alexander Channer, 54, of Tewington Place, St Austell, initially admitted manslaughter but had denied murder.

He changed his plea and was sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court to life in prison with an order to serve at least 15 years.

'Good, kind man'

Mr Payne ran post offices at Ashton and Porthleven in west Cornwall before retiring to Helston.

Prosecutors rejected Channer's manslaughter plea, saying it was Crown's case that there was an "intention to kill".

Image caption Alexander Channer had an "intention to kill", prosecutors said

A murder trial had started at Truro Crown Court on Monday before he changed his plea.

Following sentencing, the victim's son, Nick Payne, said the family was "pleased with the verdict".

However, he added: "But for my sister, rest of our family, and myself, we have been cruelly and prematurely robbed of a loving father and a central part of our family.

"We will never forget my dad, and will now try and remember the happy times we have spent together, instead of focusing on the needless and senseless murder of a good, kind man."

Det Insp Stuart Ellis, from Devon and Cornwall Police's major crime investigation team, said: "This has been an extremely difficult and tragic set of circumstances for Mr Payne's family to cope with.

"I hope that this conviction will help them to begin to move forward."

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