Norton Man Jailed for Murdering Full Sutton Antiques Dealer Peter Battle
1:19pm 20th December 2013
(Updated 3:53pm 20th December 2013)
Norton man Graham Richardson has been given a life sentence with a minimum of 27 years for the murder of Full Sutton antiques dealer Peter Battle.
A jury at Teesside Crown Court found 27 year old Richardson guilty this morning of the charge of murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Alistair McFarlane from the Humberside Police Major Incident Team said: “This ends a five week trial, endured by the family of Peter Battle, who were forced to listen to details of the last moments of his life.
“Graham Richardson pleaded guilty to the robbery of a gold dealer, Michael Cleaver, whom he had arranged to meet in York in early December 2012. Whilst planning this Robbery, Richardson was already trying to lure Peter Battle into a trap.
“Richardson negotiated prices and quantities of gold to buy from Mr Battle, knowing all the time that he had absolutely no intention to actually part with any money. Mr Battle conversed with Richardson by email, never aware that the man he was planning to do business with had the sole intention of obtaining the goods by dishonest means.
“On the 30th of December 2012, Graham Richardson turned up at Whisker Cottage in Full Sutton, by prior appointment, with intent to steal, by whatever means, the gold items (mostly scrap), which had been discussed between both men.
“During this meeting, Graham Richardson attacked Peter Battle with such force and ferocity, that over forty wounds were recorded by the pathologist, including massive head injuries, which proved fatal.
“From this point, Graham Richardson used the house as his own treasure store and returned time and time again to plunder the belongings of the murdered owner. Selling items for cash, or giving items away in order to pay off debts or to give as gifts to family and friends. All the time, the decaying body of Mr Battle was lying on the living room floor.
“Graham Richardson was identified and arrested as the result of good team work by officers and staff of Humberside Police and by painstaking detective work.
“Graham Richardson did not seek to challenge any of the police evidence put before him, but instead sought to blame others for the murder - claiming that he had only organised a robbery, which others had carried out and which had gone horribly wrong. Clearly the jury did not believe him.
“Whilst I am pleased that this man has been found guilty, my thoughts are with Mr Battle's family and I hope Richardson being found guilty will allow them some comfort.”
56 year old Peter Battle was found dead at his home, Whisker Cottage, in Full Sutton on Thursday 7th February after suffering a head injury. Police believe he was killed around the end of December 2012.
Peter Battle traded in silver and gold rings and coins as part of his antiques business and trading at auction houses and on E-Bay. Official ECU coins and laptop were among the items stolen.
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