Isabella Gossling and Richard Moors sentenced for the murder of Phillip Nicholson

14/12/2015

Isabella Gossling, 20 and Richard Moors, 26 both from Bournemouth, were today at Winchester Crown sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Phillip Nicholson, who was 22. He was killed on 26 May 2015. Isabella Gossling will have to serve a minimum of 19 years and Richard Moors a minimum of 22 years' imprisonment before being considered for parole.

Following the sentence, Dawn Hyland, Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service Wessex said: "The crime that Isabella Gossling and Richard Moors committed against Phillip Nicholson was devious and callous."

Richard Moors had pleaded guilty to Phillip Nicholson's murder on 16 October 2015, however Isabella Gossling pleaded not guilty on the basis of diminished responsibility. The jury decided on 9 December that she was guilty of Phillip Nicholson's murder.

Miss Hyland said: "They lured Phillip Nicholson into Isabella Gossling's flat. At the flat she accused Phillip of having raped her and encouraged Richard Moors to stab him as a result.

"We said that this allegation was of course a lie. The crime was audio recorded on her phone. Isabella Gossling's comments when Philip was being stabbed to death by her lover were chilling. She showed no empathy or remorse.

"The jury at Winchester Crown Court heard how, with her boyfriend Richard Moors, she bullied and threatened to kill Phillip Nicholson, who was her ex-partner. Phillip was a young adult with mild learning difficulties and had an intellectual disability causing a marked impairment in his social functioning. He also had a decreased ability to perform complex tasks, which means that he had difficulty handling money, budgeting and understanding finances and was not able to live independently."

During the time they were together, Phillip was a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of Isabella Gossling. This was evidenced by his support worker who said that she had subjected him to emotional, mental, financial and sexual abuse.

Phillip had confided to one of his carers the abuse he received from his girlfriend and as a result the police became involved. Eventually the couple split up.

Not long after the separation, Richard Moors, who had become Isabella Gossling's new boyfriend, made threats to kill Phillip. Isabella Gossling knew how she could take advantage of Phillip even if she was no longer with him and she stole more than £700 from his accounts. She pleaded guilty to theft three months before killing him.

Miss Hyland said: "There is no doubt that Isabella Gossling exploited Phillip's vulnerable situation. She clearly knew that he would not have been able to defend himself.

"The court heard that both Isabella Gossling and Richard Moors subjected Phillip to repetitive bullying and threats that led to his tragic death.

"We would like to thank all the witnesses who came forward in this case. Our thoughts are with Phillip's family who has lost their beloved son."