Man jailed for life for body in the boot murder

March 21, 2016

In a case prosecuted by Christopher Tehrani QC from Exchange Chambers, a man has been sentenced to life in prison after strangling a vulnerable woman with her hair straighteners and then driving around with her body in the boot of his car for several days.

Lee Nolan, 48, from Heywood in Greater Manchester, had denied murdering Katelyn Parker until towards the end of the prosecution case, when he changed his plea to guilty.

He had originally pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not murder on grounds of diminished responsibility.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Nolan, a drug-using drifter and alcoholic nicknamed “Mr Happy Days” for his cheerful demeanour, had befriended Parker, who had learning difficulties but was living independently with the help of social services in Rochdale.

At Parker’s home he offered to do her hair and she refused, saying that “only gay men do hair”, apparently prompting Nolan to fly into a rage.

On 13 August, one day after Parker was last seen alive by her support worker, Nolan went to see a friend, Melanie Ashton, and told her he had killed a woman after she made the “gay” remark.

He then re-enacted how he had killed Ashton by wrapping the cord of her straighteners around her neck five times, causing her to suffocate, and described how he had bundled her body into a duvet and carried her to the boot of his car.

The same day, Nolan told an acquaintance on Heywood’s Back O’The Moss estate that he had “killed two people and there was a body in the boot”.

Later, Nolan picked a man up in his blue Nissan NX100 and attempted to buy cannabis from him. While they were in the car, Nolan bragged that he had killed a woman and that her body was in the boot. When the man expressed his disbelief, Nolan pulled down one of the rear seats in the car and revealed Parker’s body.

He later told another friend he had killed two people at a party. After being arrested following a police chase, detectives found Parker’s body in the back of his abandoned car.

When interviewed, Nolan told officers he had killed six people, then said he had six people on a “hitlist”, of whom he had killed three. Police carried out urgent inquiries before establishing that Nolan was lying.

Sentencing him to life in prison with a minimum tariff of 18 years, the judge Mr Justice Turner said the fact that Nolan had wasted police time was an aggravating factor in his case.