Man pleads guilty to the murder of Gerald Pragnell from Southampton
Tommy Scott, 34, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty today at Winchester Crown Court to the murder of Gerald Pragnell, 66. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He will have to serve a minimum of 27 years before being eligible for parole.
Gerald Pragnell was last seen on Thursday 1 November 2018, when CCTV captured him leaving his office at Southampton Airport at around 06:34 at the end of his night shift. He never returned home and he was reported missing on Friday 2 November 2018. His body was found after a police search on Southampton Common on the evening of Saturday 3 November. The defendant was arrested that day.
During his interview at the police station, Tommy Scott admitted killing Mr Pragnell. He also admitted taking Mr Pragnell’s car which he later sold to drug dealers and used his bank cards to make a number of purchases in different areas of Southampton and Botley. He further admitted to returning to Mr Pragnell’s body to remove a ring that he had been wearing which was later sold at a pawn shop.
Following the guilty plea, Bernadette Kearney for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Tommy Scott has taken the life of a man who had been looking forward to his retirement later this year. He has left Mr Pragnell's partner and family and friends completely devastated. Thankfully, Tommy Scott has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and has spared them the further trauma of a trial. My thoughts are with Mr Pragnell's partner, his family and friends at this difficult time”.
Notes to editors
- Bernadette Kearney is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex.