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Newton Abbot 'frying pan' murderer is jailed for life

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 12, 2012

Bryan Harris murdered Paul Drury in a 20-minute-long attack

A jealous boyfriend has been branded a coward by police and the family of the victim who he murdered in a savage frying pan attack.

Stable hand Bryan Harris was jailed for life for the brutal killing of Paul Drury and told by a judge that it was "a punishment beating administered to seek revenge."

Harris, 45, and his girlfriend Dawn Lewis were lodging with 32-year-old Mr Drury at his home in Newton Abbot when he battered him to death in a 20-minute-long attack last November.

He attacked him in a jealous rage after waking in the middle of the night to find him on the living room floor with Miss Drury.

He claimed the couple were making love but the victim's family and the police believe the attack was an unprovoked outburst of extreme violence.

The parents of Mr Drury, who comes from Whimple, near Exeter, praised the police operation and said they are pleased that Harris has been taken off the streets so he will no longer pose a danger to the public.

Harris himself stood expressionless with arms crossed as he was jailed for life at Exeter Crown Court and smiled as he was led away to the cells.

He is a former vagrant with a lifelong career in crime.

He has more than 35 previous offences, many for violence, and is a convicted paedophile.

He believed he had found stability for the first time in his life when he moved into Miss Lewis's home in Newton Abbot, and he started working part-time at a stables run by her sister in Ideford, where she kept her horse Dude.

Things went wrong within weeks when they were evicted because of allegations of anti-social behaviour and they were saved from a life on the streets by Mr Drury, who agreed to put them up for £20 a week at his home in Valley Path, Newton Abbot.

Mr Drury was killed in the middle of the night about three weeks later, after Harris apparently found him having sex with Dawn.

Harris, of Valley Path, Newton Abbot denied murder but was found guilty. He was also found guilty of wounding Miss Lewis with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

Judge Mr Justice Evans jailed him for life with a minimum term of 18 years.

He told him: "You assaulted Mr Drury with such ferocity it caused devastating and fatal injuries. You punched him, you used your feet on him and you also used a frying pan as a weapon to beat him.

"In short, you beat him to death."

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