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An obsessive coin collector has been found guilty of murdering a fellow enthusiast for a set containing Beatrix Potter 50p pieces.
Gordon McGhee, 52, was left for dead after being stabbed 17 times by 33-year-old Danny Bostock, who then tried to set fire to the victim's home in a bid to cover his tracks.
It is reported that Bostock attacked McGhee after he was disturbed while trying to steal the rare coins, leaving a gas cooker on in the Colchester flat and lighting a dishcloth before fleeing in the hope of blowing up the scene of his crime.
Local police soon caught up with the attacker and arrested him on suspicion of murder. Although he denied the charges, this week a jury at Ipswich Crown Court unanimously convicted Bostock of the killing, as well as attempted arson, after just six hours of deliberation.
The three-week trial saw the court hearing that Bostock was a collector of limited edition circulation coins and that he already knew McGhee was in possession of the Beatrix Potter pieces, as the pair had met already through their mutual friend Melissa McGrory.
Apparently McGhee even offered Bostock some spare collectables in the run up to his death, but sadly it wasn't enough and he decided to intrude on the victim's unlocked home in an apparently opportunistic attempt to steal his coveted coins.
When McGhee saw what was going on, Bostock attacked. Making this case even stranger is the fact that the coin collection, the murder weapon and the clothes Bostock was wearing that night have not yet been found.
However, the victim's blood was discovered on the murderer's bike and footprints of trainers Bostock had on were traipsed around the flat.
As such, the jury were quick to dismiss his claims that McGhee was attacked by another mutual acquaintance - Daniel Welham - and Bostock, who has previously been convicted of burglary and rape, was found guilty. He now faces life in prison, and will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on 19 March.
Judge David Goodin said: "Any murder is horrific - this one extremely so and as a matter of law a life sentence must follow."
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, added: "My thoughts are with Mr McGhee's family and friends at this difficult time.
"Gordon McGhee, by all accounts, was a well-liked man and his death was a great shock to everyone.
"I don't believe that Bostock shows any remorse at all for taking Mr McGhee's life.
"His continued lies, including trying to pin the murder on an innocent man and his denial of owning the trainers that we knew were key to this investigation, show that.
"His attack on Mr McGhee was senseless and brutal. He is an incredibly dangerous man and I hope he is sent to prison for a long time."
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