A cowboy builder was filmed leaving a woman’s house covered in blood just moments after fatally bludgeoning her with a hammer.
Chilling CCTV footage captured Peter Norgrove wearing blood-stained trousers after leaving Sharon Gordon for dead inside her home in Dudley, West Midlands.
The 43-year-old was then recorded whistling as he packed away his tools while Sharon, 58, lay dying at the bottom of her stairs for as long as an hour after the attack.
Norgrove brutally killed Sharon with eight blows to the head after they argued about a six-week extension that had taken him more than 15 months.
Prosecutor Earl Pinnock told Wolverhampton Crown that Norgrove started packing up his gear before entering the house through the back door wearing rubber gloves on July 20 last year.
‘At 2.02pm the Ring doorbell recorded noises,’ Mr Pinnock said. ‘They last for a duration of 18 seconds. A female voice screamed momentarily and then shouted something inaudible.’
Sharon was found dead the following day by two friends who visited her property in Bromford Road, Holly Hall.
The court heard how Norgrove had recently retrained as a builder and had met Sharon through a mutual friend at the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall they both attended.
He was paid £29,000 to carry out the work and had agreed to build the extension within two months, but still hadn’t finished the job more than a year later.
After beating Sharon to death, Norgrove, a married father, picked up a child from school and led a service the same day.
Judge Michael Chambers KC told Norgrove, a former public sector worker: ‘You used a hammer to repeatedly strike her to the head.
‘You were angry because she had continued to criticise you for your chronic delays and workmanship.’
The ‘rights and wrongs’ of the extension delays were not matters for the court to determine, the judge said, adding: ‘They do not provide you with any excuse, justification or mitigation for what you did.’
Norgrove, of Brownswall Road, Sedgley, West Midlands, had admitted murder at a previous hearing.
Passing sentence today, judge Chambers said the ‘brutal and savage’ offence was aggravated by a false statement Norgrove gave police saying his victim was alive and well when he left the property.
He sat with his head bowed in the dock as he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years.
Judge Chambers said Sharon may have lived for up to an hour after the attack, and told Norgrove: ‘You went into the house, having put gloves on. You made no attempts to seek help.
‘No sentence I can impose can put the clock back, nor should it be seen as any attempt to put a value on the loss of a human life.
‘What was clear was by that Thursday, the 20th of July, Sharon Gordon continued to criticise you as to the delays and standard of your work. That clearly was the motivation for your anger.
‘The principal aggravating factor is this was a brutal and savage attack in the victim’s home, using a weapon. She would have been no match for you.
‘There was clearly an intention to kill.’
The court also heard that bloodstained items were found in a wheelie bin at a family address linked to Norgrove and further searches revealed a hammer hidden in a shed at the victim’s home.
Detective inspector Damian Forrest, who led the investigation, said: ‘Mrs Gordon tragically lost her life following a violent attack by Peter Norgrove, which appears to have stemmed from him losing his temper after a disagreement over the work he was carrying out.
‘Mrs Gordon’s friends and family have been deeply affected by her death, and while Norgrove has now faced the consequences of his appalling actions, our thoughts remain with them as they continue to grieve.’
Victim impact statements read to the court by friends and family members described the murder as an incomprehensible ‘atrocity’ which took the life of a generous and kind woman with strong faith and values.
The victim’s daughter, Rhian Brown, told the court prior to the sentencing: ‘This man’s actions have changed my life forever.
‘I am tormented at the thought of what my mum endured. Did she cry out for someone? Those thoughts are torture but I can’t get them out of my head.
‘In her final moments she was faced with shocking violence from someone she thought she could trust.
‘Nothing will ever restore or compensate for what we have lost.’
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