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Life for killer of British woman

A man who brutally murdered a retired Salvation Army Officer has been jailed for life in Hong Kong.

The body of Major Janet Gilson, 64, was found hidden under a sofa at her niece's home in Lamma, the third largest island in Hong Kong, in March 2011. She had been reported missing three days earlier.

Ahmed Fareed, who was 29 at the time of the killing, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at the city's hight court on Thursday, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Judiciary said.

The court heard that she had been suffocated after being strangled with a rope and had a towel stuffed into her mouth. Four of her ribs had been broken. It is understood Fareed was the ex-husband of Maj Gilson's niece and had been barred by a court order from entering the property.

Maj Gilson had retired shortly before her death and lived in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after a six-day trial.

Outside court Maj Gilson's niece, Julia, told the South China Morning Post: "To those people that are in relationships with violent partners: I strongly urge you to get away. I made the mistake of believing I could help change my ex-husband, giving him many chances. I realise the error of that judgment now and hope that others can also learn from that."

Fareed, from the Maldives, was arrested at Hong Kong's ferry harbour shortly after the murder.

Speaking at the time, Major Carol Bailey, regional manager for the Salvation Army, said: "Major Gilson was a Salvation Army officer for many years and retired only in recent years. She was a deeply spiritual woman and was highly respected and loved by all those with whom she worked and came into contact.

''As a Christian minister and leader she worked in many capacities for The Salvation Army, not just in the UK but also in Russia. She was an inspirational person and she will be sadly missed.''

Maj Gilson had arrived in Hong Kong on March 6, and was last seen at her niece's home in Tai Yuen Village.

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