Praying murderer jailed

A man overheard praying for forgiveness after murdering his pregnant girlfriend's mother has been jailed for life at the Old Bailey.

George Maben, 45, from Rosehill Surrey, strangled 65-year-old widow Maureen Cosgrove at her home earlier this year.  It is possible that this case will be remembered due to the fact that Maben was arrested after police bugged his car and he was recorded as saying: "God, forgive me for what I have done."

The recording went on: "Please God, help me... for me and Lucy eliminated from all police inquiries and everything's all right, please God help me.  I just could not take it any more. Every single day, she was breaking me down. Please God will you forgive me? Please God, sorry."

The jury convicted Maben of murder and the trial judge has ordered that he serve a minimum of 13 years before he may be considered for parole. 

Judge Jeremy Roberts indicated that he was reducing the term which might have been expected from a pre-meditated murder.  The judge said that it was because it was out of character and because Maben had been under pressure.

All this at a time when some victims and their families are finding it hard to find justice in our legal system.  Sara Payne for one.

The judge went on to say "It was no-one's fault that the situation developed where your relationship with Lucy, whom you loved deeply, and her mother, whom you must have seen as a obstacle, drove you to such an act of desperation."  No doubt these words were carefully chosen, but is there a danger that on the face of it, this seems to be an 'excuse' or 'justification' for what Maben did.

Again this is another example of the use of the tariff system which may send out all the wrong signals to potential wrongdoers and to victims' families.

Some may say that Maben will have enough time on his hands now for prayer.

Lets leave the last word to those more closely involved.

Mrs Cosgrove's son John has said: "As the partner of our sister, George Maben was welcomed and included within our family group. The acts of kindness we showed have been repaid with the callous and brutal murder of our mother.  We will never come to terms with the nature of our loss but this verdict gives us some closure in the knowledge that her killer has now been brought to account and our hope is that she may now rest in peace."

Det Chief Insp John McFarlane of the Metropolitan Police has said: "It is terrible - Mrs Rees has a child by the killer of her own mother. Maben is a cool, manipulative individual who sought to control her."

A bit more praying then!

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