Life in prison for callous murderer

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE'Undated Cheshire Police handout photo of Philip Martins who was found guilty at Chester Crown Court today of the murder of solicitor Linda Bakewell. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 29, 2011. See PA story COURTS Solicitor. Photo credit should read: Cheshire Police/PA Wire ''NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE'Undated Cheshire Police handout photo of Philip Martins who was found guilty at Chester Crown Court today of the murder of solicitor Linda Bakewell. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 29, 2011. See PA story COURTS Solicitor. Photo credit should read: Cheshire Police/PA Wire ''NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

IT was one of the cruelest and most callous betrayals imaginable.

Linda Bakewell, a high-respected solicitor from Rainhill, was besotted with Philip Martins, and hoped to start a relationship with the 48-year-old machine fitter.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE'Undated Cheshire Police handout photo of solicitor Linda Bakewell as machine operator Philip Martins was today found guilty at Chester Crown Court today of the murder of the solicitor. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 29, 2011. See PA story COURTS Solicitor. Photo credit should read: Cheshire Police/PA Wire ''NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE'Undated Cheshire Police handout photo of solicitor Linda Bakewell as machine operator Philip Martins was today found guilty at Chester Crown Court today of the murder of the solicitor. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 29, 2011. See PA story COURTS Solicitor. Photo credit should read: Cheshire Police/PA Wire ''NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Instead Martins greedily used her money to buy drinks before killing her and dumping her body under his kitchen table.

And in a final indignity, the dad-of-three invented a lurid - and far-fetched - alibi to police, telling them Ms Bakewell had died chocking while performing a sex act on him.

Last week, a jury of seven women and five men took just two hours to return a unanimous verdict of guilty after a 10 day trial at Chester Crown Court.

Martins, from Somerford Walk, Widnes, was immediately sentenced to a life term in prison.

Wearing a white shirt and black suit and tie, Martins stood in the dock with his hands in his pockets as Judge Elgan Edwards told him his conduct was “quite disgraceful”.

The judge said his behaviour towards “this unfortunate woman, who was besotted with you” was contemptible.

“That contempt was practised during her life and continued after you had killed her,” he said.

Ms Bakewell, a director of Liverpool-based Armstrong Solicitors, was described in court as a “quiet, modest woman with a love for life”.

She met Martins in 2006 through mutual friends on the Northern Soul music scene.

He was “only too happy to take advantage of her affection and her wallet”, Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, said.

The jury was told that while Ms Bakewell was at the bar buying his drinks he would insult her appearance and make crude remarks to others in the pub.

The prosecution said it may never be known how the solicitor died on November 20 last year.

She met Martins in a pub in Widnes at around 1.30am before moving to another bar where he carried on drinking.

Ms Bakewell, who was not drinking because she was driving, then drove them both to an industrial estate on the outskirts of the town after asking him to show her where he worked.

The solicitor was never seen alive again.

A post-mortem examination concluded Ms Bakewell died of asphyxiation and also found she had suffered impact injuries to her head while she was still alive, the court was told.

“We may never know what happened in those final moments before Linda Bakewell met her death,” Ms Whyte said.

When Ms Bakewell failed to turn up at her parents house as planned a missing persons’ search was launched.

While her loved ones were frantically searching, Martins left her body in his car and home for four days. .

He arrested the next week on suspicion of kidnapping but then confessed, telling officers: “She’s in the boot of my car.”

“Officers opened the boot and found Linda’s naked, scraped and bruised body in the most undignified of graves,” Ms Whyte said, who told the court they suspect the killing took place because Ms Bakewell refused to comply with Martins’ sexual demands.

Detective Inspector Jo Miller, of Cheshire Police’s major incident team, said: “I would describe Philip Martins as a cold, calculated individual. He showed Linda little dignity before and after her death.”

Ms Bakewell’s family made no comment as they left court.