Andrew Ratcliffe case

CPS East of England statement on Andrew Ratcliffe

30/10/2013

Andrew Ratcliffe was sentenced to life imprisonment today, 30 October 2013, with a minimum tariff of 23 years after he was found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of the murder of Mary Roberts, whose body was found behind a pub in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Punam Malhan, CPS East of England Senior District Crown Prosecutor said: "We were satisfied there was enough evidence for Andrew Ratcliffe to stand trial and although he denied murdering Mrs Roberts, the prosecution through forensic, CCTV, and other evidence was able to prove to the jury he was the only person responsible for her death."

The body of Mrs Roberts was found by the landlady of the St Edmunds Tavern in the pub's outdoor smoking area on 27 March 2013. The cause of death was compression of the neck.

Ms Malhan said: "Not only was Ratcliffe's DNA found on her body and clothing, but personal items, including her underwear and a ring, were found in his possession. Witnesses gave evidence of seeing them together that evening and CCTV footage showed them leaving St Edmunds Tavern together.

"Taken together this evidence showed just how hollow was Ratcliffe's explanation of 'falling asleep on the ground' and not knowing what had happened to Mrs Roberts.

"The evidence of what happened in this case must have been very upsetting for the family and friends of Mrs Roberts but we hope they can take some comfort from the fact that today Ratcliffe is now starting a lengthy prison sentence. Our thoughts are with them."