A MAN who bludgeoned his housemate to death, buried him in a man-made tomb in his garden shed and then went for lunch, has been jailed for life.
Sebastian Bendou, 36, was told at Preston Crown Court he would serve a minimum of 14 years in prison before he could be considered for release.
Bendou, of no fixed address, killed former housemate Christophe Borgye, 36, in 2009 along with fellow murderer Dominik Kocher.
The pair buried Mr Borgye in the outbuilding of a house in Hylton Court, Ellesmere Port, in a man-made tomb which lay undiscovered until May last year.
Police made the grim discovery of Mr Borgye’s body, wrapped in tarpaulin and encased in thick concrete, when Bendou led them to his grave in 2013.
Mr Borgye, a flight attendant, was reported missing in May 2009 and enquiries led officers to believe he had left the country.
A post-mortem examination concluded he died as a result of blows to the head, believed to be from a hammer.
A hammer was found buried alongside the body.
Delivering the sentence to Bendou, Mr Justice Alistair MacDuff said he committed a “wicked” offence. Had Bendou been able to live with his conscience then “this would have been a crime which would have gone undetected”.
Mr Justice MacDuff said it was a “wicked and cowardly attack” and Bendou had voluntarily gone along with Kocher’s plan and taken part in a bloody and brutal killing.
The murder of Mr Borgye was “evil work”, Mr Justice MacDuff said.
Speaking after the sentencing, Cheshire Police Det Insp Gwyn Dodd said: “The sentence handed down today by the judge reflects the serious nature of this case – and reinforces the fact the murder was pre-planned, calculated and extensively covered up.”
DI Dodd said it had been a highly complex case for Cheshire Police’s major investigation team and it had “required considerable professional skills” from those involved in the case.
“This has been a difficult process for all those involved and I hope the conclusion of the case today and the sentence handed down to Bendou will help to bring about a degree of closure for Christophe’s family and allow them to move forward with their lives,” he added.
DI Dodd said “Kocher was the dominant force in the group”.
“He was instrumental in the cover up of the murder and leading people, including his family, into believing Christophe had simply moved away,” he added.
“The strain of their secret in the end proved too much for Bendou however, who ended up fleeing Scotland and returning to Ellesmere Port to face up to his crime.”
Kocher, 35, of New Abbey in Dumfries, Scotland, was found guilty of the murder of Christophe Borgye. He was sentenced at a previous hearing.