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Home Kent News Article
by Keith Hunt
A twisted killer who strangled a woman with a belt during a sex session has been jailed for a minimum of seven-and-a-half years today.
Under the indeterminate sentence for public protection, Marcus Coates will not be released until the parole board decides he is no longer a danger.
Judge Philip Statman told the 44-year-old pervert as he stood emotionless with his hands clasped in front him that he detected little remorse for the killing of Jennie Banner.
"In my judgement, there is a good deal of self-pity within your personality as you face up now to the inevitable consequences of your conviction," he said.
"This is beyond doubt a case which calls for imprisonment for public protection. There is a significant risk to the public of death or serious personal injury."
Coates, of Ernest Road, Chatham, was cleared of murder and convicted of manslaughter last month.
But three women on the jury wept on hearing after the verdicts that Coates had previously been convicted of a terrifying sex attack on a woman in front of her young child.
He was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court in April 1999 to five years imprisonment with an extended licence period of five years.
Jurors had been excluded from hearing about the conviction during the latest trial.
Maidstone Crown Court was told Coates put the belt around Miss Banner's neck and tightened it until she passed out and died.
Her body, wearing only a T-shirt pulled up over her breasts, was left under a duvet in the bedroom of her Chatham flat with the belt still fastened around her neck for five days.
Miss Banner, 32, had worked as a prostitute, but was not said to be interested in bondage or "auto-erotic asphyxiation".
Coates went to her home in a block of flats at Five Ways Court on August 14 last year.
He later said they took drugs together in the living room and she asked him to put the belt around her neck. He claimed she pulled it tight during sex.
He added he was unable to release the belt, which had an extra hole made in it to reduce the circumference to 26.4cm (10.4in).
The court heard Coates had on his mobile phone a photo of his ex-wife Marina Raghunath wearing a dog collar around her neck.
She said in evidence that Coates was the dominant partner when he would put the collar around her neck eight or nine times during their marriage from 1995 to 1998 and pull it tight until she started to pass out.
After the verdict, Jennie’s mother Vivian Horne said: "Jennie was in the process of turning her life around. She was very creative and had decided that she wanted to go to college to study hairdressing and carve out a career for herself.
"She was a generous and loving girl who was very popular with a large circle of friends. Some of these had been her friends since she was at school as she was born and had always lived in the Medway Towns.
"She loved her flat and was very proud of it. She just wanted to live a normal life. As a family we haven’t even begun to deal with the fact that she is no longer here."
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