A COUPLE tried to get rid of a man by buying a spell and sending threatening texts before luring him to a countryside lake and murdering him.
Joanne Griffiths, 41, of Bridgeacre Gardens, Binley, Coventry has today (Wednesday) been found guilty of murdering 39 year old Jason Stephen Bissell from the Coombe Fields area of Coventry after a six week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Peter Hood, 43, of Vernon’s Lane, Nuneaton changed his plea to guilty of murder at what should have been the first day of his trial on October 6 at Birmingham Crown Court and agreed to give evidence against Griffiths on behalf of the prosecution.
During the trial the jury heard how Hood and Griffiths, who planned to marry, plotted to remove Mr Bissell from their lives when he continued to be a barrier between them.
The jury heard how during a brief relationship with Griffiths in 2009/10, Mr Bissell fathered a child and he was anxious to have regular access to and contact with his child.
The prosecution alleged that when Griffiths and Hood realised he was likely to be a permanent feature in the life of the child and theirs, this did not please them, to them he was a nuisance and his persistence to see his child caused problems for them which interfered with their future plans which were to get married and become a family.
Their campaign to remove Mr Bissell from their lives started with Hood ordering a witch’s spell over the internet to get rid of Mr Bissell. Hood ordered malicious texts from a revenge website that claims to be able to make threats towards ex partners without it being traceable.
When this failed, they planned his murder and lured Mr Bissell to his death.
Senior Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Pete Hill said: “This is one of the most sickening cases that I have ever been involved with.
“As a result of the actions of Joanne Griffiths and Peter Hood, a child will never have the opportunity to get to know their loving father, Jason Bissell.
“I will never be able to understand the actions of Joanne Griffiths, who with Peter Hood, planned and carried out this horrific murder.
“I am pleased that the jury saw through Joanne Griffiths’ tissue of lies.”
Almost a year ago on the evening of Sunday, October 17, 2010, Mr Bissell was brutally murdered in a pre-planned vicious and determined attack near a remote fishing lake near Rugby.
The murderers took a hammer and duct tape with them to the fishing lake.
He was repeatedly struck about the head with a hammer. Duct tape was applied to his head and he was thrown into a fishing lake known as Lanny’s Lagoon at Stretton Under Fosse near Rugby.
During the trial, the jury were told that it was Hood who struck the fatal blows to the head of Mr Bissell whilst he was deliberately distracted by Griffiths.
The prosecution also alleged that each of the defendants plotted the death of Mr Bissell and each played essential and important parts in his death.
DCI Peter Hill said “I am clearly pleased with the verdict. My thoughts are with Jason’s family and friends whose lives changed forever on the 17 October 2010, I just hope that they are now able to slowly begin to rebuild their lives after this horrific ordeal.”
Both Hood and Griffiths have been in custody since their arrests on 18 October 2010 - the day after Jason was so viciously murdered. They now both face significant sentences and are likely to be behind bars for many years to come.
The trial has been adjourned for sentencing currently scheduled for December 5.
The family of Mr Bissell said: “Jason was a bright and loving dad, son, brother and friend. His life was taken in an unbelievable way for trying to do what he knew was right. The actions of these people have ruined the lives of so many others and they will have that on their conscience forever.
“Jason’s family and friends would like to thank Warwickshire Police for their help and dedication to bringing these people to justice. We will always miss Jason.”