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A ‘wicked’ postman who bludgeoned an escort to death with a dumbbell while high on cocaine before trying to hide her body in his home for 11 days has been jailed for murder.

Mark Nicholls, 43, struck mother-of-three Emily Sanderson, 50, at least 13 times with the weapon while she called a taxi to pick her up from his home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on May 19.

His voice was heard on the call accusing her of being a ‘robbing b****’ before Emily’s muffled screams were heard, followed by four ‘hard’ thuds in the background. Emily was last seen by her family at her father’s funeral the same day and was reported missing a few days later.

Prosecutor Mr Sam Green KC said the thuds on the call were the sounds of Emily being bludgeoned to death with a dumbbell.

Nicholls was today jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years at Sheffield Crown Court after he admitted murder in an earlier hearing.

Mark Nicholls (pictured), who bludgeoned an escort to death with a dumbbell while high on cocaine and then tried to hide her body in his home for 11 days, has been jailed

Emily Sanderson (pictured), 50, was struck at least 13 times with the weapon while she called a taxi to pick her up from his home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on May 19

The court heard how he fled his three-bedroom home before returning a few days later, where he was chillingly seen digging a hole in his garden and buying packaging materials.

Nicholls finally handed himself in to police on May 30 when he spoke to his parents while acting anxious and on edge, telling them he had ‘f***** up’.

And officers later turned up at the house, where they forced entry and found a large sealed package that contained a human head.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Emily had been wrapped in layers of material, while her hands and feet had been bound with parcel tape.

A post-mortem examination later ruled Emily was struck at least 13 times in the head when she was killed.

Emily’s and Nicholls’ phones were then both switched off, and officers later found her phone in a field in June with bloodstains on it, the court heard.

CCTV showed how within half an hour of killing Emily, Nicholls had left the house to make good his escape.

He was later seen at a Shell garage with a female companion with suitcases. The pair then got a ride to Sheffield Railway Station, took a train to Moulton, and had a pint in a pub.

On May 23, Nicholls returned to Sheffield and was seen by neighbours digging a hole in his garden.

Witnesses said he seemed ‘relaxed and conversational’, and said he was digging the hole to fill in a pond.

Police officers guard a cordon at the address in Hillsborough where Ms Sanderson’s body was discovered on May 31

On May 25, he was also seen on CCTV buying parcel tape at a supermarket. But on May 30, Nicholls suddenly spoke to his parents, acting anxious and on edge, where he said he had ‘f***** up’.

Mr Green said: ‘He told his parents he had been drugged and threatened with a knife by a girl, forcing him to knock her out with a dumbbell.

‘Your honour, you may consider the phone call you heard earlier when reflecting on this.’

Nicholls told a mental health professional at a police station on June 5 how he had ‘killed a lady by bashing her head with a dumbbell’.

Acting on this, police forced entry into the house and made a horrifying discovery.

Mr Green said: ‘They saw what appeared to be a large package, sealed with parcel tape. Tearing it open, they saw a human head.’

Emily had been wrapped in layers of material. Her hands and feet were bound with parcel tape. Her clothes were found in a bin liner nearby. The dumbbell was never found.

Nicholls pleaded guilty to her murder on September 8.

His defence barrister said today that he now accepted Emily did not threaten him with a knife and that he was drunk and high on crack cocaine during the murder.

More than a dozen family members wearing t-shirts emblazoned with ‘Emily £1 in a million’ watched Nicholls get sent down.

In a statement read to the court, Emily’s mum Christine Shann said: ‘Emily was an incredible person.

‘She was deeply and dearly loved by me, her three children, her siblings, her family, and her many, many friends.

‘It is impossible to overstate the emotional damage wrought by her murder. Her son and two daughters have lost their mother.

‘Emily and her kids adored and cared for each other, they needed her in their lives and she has been stolen.

‘I have had the daughter I love taken away, I have had to experience every parent’s nightmare and live through the death of my own child.

‘Emily had close, precious relationships with all of her siblings and was a huge and irreplaceable part of their lives.’

Christine added: ‘What we have experienced in the wake of this tragedy has done irreversible damage to all our lives, she was the heart of our family, and our heart has been ripped out.

‘We miss her so much; her absence is so keenly felt. We will never celebrate with her again, never be held by her, never receive any more of her help and support, hear her jokes, or spend time with her. She will never meet her children’s children.

‘We will never see her realise her immense potential and share with her the life she deserved, free of violence. We feel this every day and will continue to feel it as long as we live.’

Judge Jeremy Richardson KC told Nicholls he’d committed a ‘wicked act’ with no explanation.

The judge said: ‘You perpetrated a brutal murder on a young woman. You repeatedly bludgeoned her with determined ferocity. You intended to kill her.

‘I have no doubt whatsoever that it was your plan – an irrational plan – to bury the body of Emily Sanderson in your garden.

Emily’s body was found at an address in Crofton Avenue (pictured), Hillsborough, Sheffield

‘There is not one ounce of justification or legitimate explanation for what you did.

‘This was a sustained, extremely violent attack upon a defenceless woman. This was an unrelenting avalanche of violence visited upon her by you. It was truly a wicked act.’

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Andrea Bowell, said: ‘Nicholls snatched away the life of a daughter, a sister and a mother in a fit of rage.

‘He has since made considerable efforts to place the blame for her death on Emily herself.

‘Within minutes of his appalling crime, he commenced a considered, thought-out and protracted plan to conceal her remains and escape prosecution.

‘He has shown no real remorse for his truly horrific actions and the subsequent torture he has put her family through.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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