A Wakefield man has been jailed for assisting the murderer of Barnsley woman Jill Hibberd who was stabbed over 70 times.
Ms Hibberd was stabbed before her Audi TT was stolen from her house on Roy Kilner Road, Wombwell, on May 30.
Lee Trevor Fueloep, 40, of Willow Garth Barnsley, has been jailed after being found guilty of murdering Ms Hibberd, burgling her house and stealing her car.
Today he was jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 35-years behind bars.
The court heard how Fueloep attacked the 73-year-in the living room of her home.
Ms Hibberd, who ran the Fantasia massage parlour in Attercliffe, was stabbed in her face, neck, chest and limbs, and was left with damage to her lungs, kidneys, heart, intestines and spleen.
Andrew Ashby, 23, formerly of Woolgreaves Avenue, Wakefield, was charged with assisting an offender in a murder and handling stolen goods after he bought Ms Hibberd's Audi TT vehicle from Fuelop for a 'few hundred' pounds, hours after she was murdered.
He was also jailed today for 32 months.
Speaking after the hearing, Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Jude Ashmore said: “The senseless and brutal murder of Jill Hibberd in her home sent shockwaves through the local community and across South Yorkshire.
“The level of violence exerted in this case was truly horrific. Coupled with the efforts of Fueloep to conceal his crime afterwards, even roping in a friend to try and dispose of Jill’s car, his behaviour was deplorable and I am very pleased that a jury has found him guilty.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to Jill’s friends, who have had to endure our police investigation then a criminal trial, where the awful details of Jill’s final moments have been shared and examined. This must have been incredibly distressing and I am thankful for their support throughout our inquiry.
“I’d also like to recognise the tireless efforts of the investigative team who worked on this murder, gathering CCTV, examining telecommunications activity, recovering vital forensic evidence that tied Fueloep to the murder and collating the many witness statements that formed part of this six-month investigation.”
From witness statements gathered, the court heard how between 9pm-9.30pm on Wednesday May 30, one of Jill’s neighbours saw her distinctive red Audi TT driving away at speed from her home in Roy Kilner Road, half on the pavement and half on the road.
Other neighbours also reported seeing the vehicle leave, and recalled this was odd as the lights in Jill’s house were still on.
Other witnesses reported seeing Fueloep starting a fire in his back garden after 10pm that same evening, where he appeared to be burning items in a metal bin.
The next morning two neighbours, who had grown concerned about Jill’s car being missing from the driveway and the lights still being on in the house, discovered Jill’s body at around 7.40am.
TDCI Ashmore continued: “Jill was well-liked by those who knew her and I can’t imagine how her neighbours must have felt that morning, faced with the scene in Jill’s living room.
“Initial forensic examination of the scene suggested that Fueloep had struggled with Jill, before killing her then making attempts to hide her body – it appeared Jill had been dragged by her ankles behind the sofa, so nobody looking through the window would be able to see her.
“We also recovered blood from the curtains on the living room window, which were ornamental and not designed to be closed.
“Fueloep’s DNA was found on the curtains, as well as on Jill’s ankles. Sadly, the only person who can tell us what happened that night is Fueloep, who has denied his guilt throughout our inquiry and this trial.
“I know that nothing can ever lessen the loss of a loved one and Jill’s friends, many of whom were practically family, will never truly be able to recover from this awful crime, but I hope that with conclusion of proceedings today they feel they are one step closer to some form of closure for Jill.”
A 31-year-old Barnsley woman was charged with perverting the course of justice as part of the criminal investigation. The case has since been discontinued after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.