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Millionaire guilty of £10,000-a-month escort's murder

Peter Morgan Image copyright Wales News Service

A millionaire has been found guilty of murdering his £10,000-a-month personal escort after hearing she planned to leave him.

Peter Morgan, 54, of Llanellen, Monmouthshire, strangled Georgina Symonds, 25, in January.

He admitted killing her but had denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He said he did it to stop her blackmailing him.

Morgan was convicted at Newport Crown Court on Wednesday.

He will be sentenced later.

The millionaire and the escort – murder through logic?

Speaking after the verdict was delivered, senior investigating officer, Det Supt Roger Fortey, said: “This is a tragic case that resulted in the death of Georgina, the loss of a mother, daughter, sister and friend to many.

“The actions of Peter Morgan were calculated and he committed the act without emotion.”

Morgan paid Miss Symonds, from the Allt-yr-yn area of Newport, up to £10,000 a month to be his personal escort and described himself as a “sugar daddy”.

She was reported missing after she failed to pick up her daughter from school.

Morgan admitted killing Miss Symonds after officers traced her mobile phone to his Porsche parked at his farmhouse near Usk, Monmouthshire.

Image copyright Wales News Service

He claimed he confiscated her phone to stop her buying drugs, but when asked whether he had killed her, he told detectives: “Yes. I don’t know why I done it.”

He handed over keys to a farm workshop to officers and told them: “You will need those keys – she’s locked in the outhouse.”

Police found her body wrapped in plastic.

Media captionMorgan told officers: ‘Well, I, I, I had intention to kill her, didn’t I? Well I done it’

Morgan, worth an estimated £20m, said he started seeing escorts during a “mid-life crisis”, and had never planned to see anyone more than once until he met Miss Symonds.

He claimed she threatened to release explicit photos of him to his family if he did not transfer money to her and sign over a bungalow he was letting her stay in rent free at Pencoed Castle, Llanmartin.

He said he loved Miss Symonds and she had been like a “best friend”, though he always knew she would leave him if the money stopped.

Using a listening device in her home disguised as a plug adaptor, he heard her tell another love interest on the phone she would leave Morgan after he signed over his bungalow to her.

Records showed Morgan had been listening to her phone conversations from November 2015 right up until the day she was murdered.

The court was told he considered poisoning her with antifreeze as a way to get her to hospital to see a doctor about her drug use.

‘Devastating’

He said he was concerned about Miss Symonds’ cocaine habit and suicide threats.

Despite saying “I done it” to police after he was arrested, he always maintained he was not responsible for his actions due to Asperger’s syndrome.

But a jury dismissed this claim following a three-week trial.

Miss Symonds’ mother, Deborah, said it had been a “devastating tragedy” for the family.

“Her [Georgina’s] beautiful daughter has been left without a mum. Georgina has left a hole in our lives that will never be repaired. All of our happy memories will be kept forever in our hearts,” she added.


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