Essex

Tina Cantello murder: Man jailed for life

Geoffrey Hutton Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Geoffrey Hutton has been jailed for life for murdering debt collector Tina Cantello

A cocaine addict who murdered a debt collector "to fund a drugs purchase" has been jailed for life.

Geoffrey Hutton, who stabbed Tina Cantello 30 times in June, must serve a minimum term of 30 years before being considered for release.

The 38-year-old, of Langdon Hills, Essex, attacked Ms Cantello after she went to his home to collect some money.

Sentencing him at Snaresbrook Crown Court, judge Mrs Justice Whipple said it was a "terrible act of violence".

Jurors took two hours to convict Hutton of killing the 49-year-old mother-of-four.

During the trial they had been told he bought drugs and went online to search for porn soon after Ms Cantello was killed at his home, in Derby Close.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Ms Cantello was stabbed 30 times during the 'totally unprovoked' attack

Mrs Justice Whipple said the attack on the debt collector, who worked for Provident Financial, was "totally unexpected and totally unprovoked".

In her sentencing remarks, the judge said Hutton's claim that he had £5 to give Ms Cantello was "laughable" and he had killed her "because he wanted to steal her money" to fund his next fix.

She added: "She surely would have been terrified as she realised that she was in the grip of a man who was evil and intent on killing her and she had no escape.

"This was a terrible act of violence on a defenceless woman who did not stand a chance."

Image caption Ms Cantello's partially-clothed body was found at Hutton's home in Derby Close, Langdon Hills

During the trial, Hutton, who is deaf, claimed an unknown intruder had carried out the killing but jurors heard his DNA was found on the body and murder weapon.

Ms Cantello's "largely naked" body was found in an upstairs bedroom the day after she was reported missing by her family, on 8 June.

Det Ch Insp Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said Hutton was "an extremely dangerous individual" and the length of his sentence "reflects not just the gravity of this case, but the sheer senselessness and brutality of Tina's murder".

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