A FATHER-of-two faced “a storm of violence” when he was struck 73 times with multiple weapons including a stool and a kettle, a court heard.

Paul Gillett, 54, was beaten to death in his own home, in Station Road, Clacton, before the culprits started six separate fires in his flat as part of a bid to cover up the crime.

Seth Stollery, 48, and Freya Parker-Magowan, 43, are charged with his murder.

In his closing speech to a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court, Christopher Paxton QC said the couple had formed a “deadly alliance”.

He described the horrific injuries sustained by Mr Gillett, who “desperately” tried to defend himself.

“Paul Gillett faced a storm of violence unleashed by these two defendants in a joint attack,” he said.

“He was beaten all over his head and body with such force as to fracture bones, to cause his scalp to shear off his skull.

“That beating, with a minimum of 73 blows, was delivered with multiple weapons when he was alone and vulnerable.”

He added: “Mr Gillett was strangled with such force as to break his thyroid cartilage.

“That strangulation lasted between 15 and 30 seconds.”

Mr Paxton said forensic evidence showed both defendants had washed blood-stained clothes in the sea shortly after the attack.

He also pointed to inconsistencies in their statements to police officers and said the pair had “lied and lied”.

Traces of Mr Gillett’s blood were found on two items recovered from the flat – a broken stool and kettle.

Finishing his speech, Mr Paxton said Mr Gillett was a father to two daughters and had provided care to his wife before she died.

“These two defendants were prepared to end his life with breath-taking brutality,” he said.

Both deny murder and arson with intent to endanger life and Parker-Magowan denies arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Stollery has admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

  • The trial continues.