A vice girl and her boyfriend “got what they wanted” when they tortured and murdered a businessman for his money, a judge said, as he jailed them both for life.
Judge Simon Tonking told Emma Bate and Paramjit Singh “you were obviously happy with your success” as he passed their prison sentences for the murder of former Stourbridge businessman Richard Sherratt.
Bate and Singh killed the 57-year-old during a midnight robbery at the father-of-three’s home in Bridgnorth. The raid was planned by Bate to raise cash to pay off debts for her crack-cocaine addiction.
Mr Sherratt, who formerly lived in Kinver and Stourbridge, died within an hour of the attack after suffering 38 injuries, including five blows to the head, a stab wound to his arm and puncture marks to his face and neck.
Judge Tonking told Bate she will serve a minimum sentence of 25 years for his murder, while Singh was ordered to serve at least 18 years. They were also given 10 years each to run concurrently for robbery.
Mr Tonking told the pair yesterday: “Having left Richard Sherratt injured on his bed surrounded by his own blood, both of you were indifferent about his fate.
“Both of you got what you wanted and had no qualms about how you got it and were obviously happy with your success.”
Following the case, Detective Inspector Steve Tonks, who led the murder investigation, said: “I am satisfied that the sentence reflects the gravity of the offences committed.” During the sentencing of the pair, Judge Tonking also paid tribute to the family of Mr Sherratt, who were gathered for the hearing at Stafford Crown Court.
They included his daughter Jennie, aged 26, who had given evidence during a three-week trial that found Bate guilty of murder. Singh had already pleaded guilty to the charge, and both admitted robbery. Judge Tonking said: “I am very conscious of the fact that the sentence I have imposed on each of you (Bate and Singh) will provide little or no comfort to those members of Richard Sherratt’s family and friends.
“I pay tribute to the dignified way in which they have observed this case in court, both during the trial and today – and in particular the measured way in which Jennie gave her evidence in the face of such tragic inhumanity.” The trial had heard how the pair broke into Mr Sherratt’s home and had held him down and tortured him to get his bank cards, £10,000 watch and obtain his Pin numbers in June last year.
Less than an hour later Bate was caught on CCTV waving her arms in celebration after taking money from his account at a cashpoint at Handsworth Post Office. The couple were also seen on camera kissing and cuddling in the lift up to Bate’s home in Osborne Tower.
Judge Tonking said: “It is not possible nor is it necessary to say precisely what part each of you played in inflicting the injuries which caused Mr Sherratt’s death, but that you were both involved in the use of violence beyond any doubts.”