'A ruthless and cold-blooded murder': Businessman who battered to death his love rival after asking for a three-way relationship with his wife is jailed for life

  • Kenneth Bill, 63, wrote to John Hay asking if he could 'share' his wife Carol
  • Bill had been having an affair with Mrs Hay but she ended it several weeks before the killing
  • Murder victim John Hay, a retired police officer, was never shown the letter asking for a three-way relationship
  • Bill lured Mr Hay to a remote location before battering him to death
  • Killer is today jailed for a minimum term of 22 years
  • Judge tells murderer: 'You were obsessed with Mrs Hay and you ruthlessly, in a detailed way, carried out this murder'

By Rob Cooper

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Carol Hay, pictured outside Bradford Crown Court whose husband John Hay is alleged to have been murdered by her lover Kenneth Bill

Three-way relationship: Carol Hay, 62, had an affair with Kenneth Bill who murdered her husband

A businessman who murdered a retired police officer and burnt his body on a bonfire after asking if he could 'share' his wife was today jailed for life.

Kenneth Bill, 63, was described as a 'cold-blooded' killer as he was sentenced to a minimum of 22 years behind bars.

The murderer wrote a letter to John Hay asking if they could have a three-way relationship with Mr Hay's wife Carol in the weeks before the killing.

He prepared a typed letter and gave it to Mrs Hay, who he had been having an affair with, asking for permission to carry on the affair.

In the letter he said to Mr Hay he wanted to carry on seeing his wife 'as I am sure this will give her the best of both worlds'.

However, Mrs Hay, 62, never handed over the letter so Bill lured Mr Hay to an industrial unit near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, with the promise of building work before murdering him.

Bill had decided to kill the former traffic officer after Mrs Hay told him she would not leave her husband and ended their secret relationship.

Today Bill showed no emotion as he was jailed at Bradford Crown Court.

Judge Peter Benson said: 'It seems to me that you were obsessed with Mrs Hay and you ruthlessly, in a detailed way, carried out this murder and then ruthlessly and cold-bloodedly disposed of your victim’s body.'

Judge Benson described Mr Hay, 61, as a hard-working family man who was a loving husband, father and grandfather.

'That man you had never met. He had done you not the slightest scrap of harm,' he told Bill.

'You were so keen to indulge your own emotions that you carried out this wicked murder. Not only did you murder him but by disposing of his body in the cold-hearted way you did, you have robbed his family of the chance of giving him a decent burial.'

Bill and Mrs Hay, 62, had a five-year relationship around 40 years ago and rekindled their affair after getting back in contact in October last year.

 

Mrs Hay broke off the relationship in February.

Judge Benson said: 'That was clearly a passionate affair on both sides but throughout your relationship that you had rekindled, Mrs Hay made clear that, while she reciprocated, she was not prepared to leave her husband and family.'

Love triangle: Ex-cop John Hay, 61, was allegedly killed with his body burned on a bonfire by 63-year-old Kenneth Bill, pictured, who had restarted a relationship with Mr Hay¿s wife after dating her over 40 years previously
 John Hay

Love triangle: Businessman Kenneth Bill (left) killed John Hay (right) after trying to suggest that the two men share Mr Hay's wife Carol, who was Bill's girlfriend from 40 years ago

He added: 'It is clear your passion for her was so intense you began to formulate a contingency plan to murder her husband John and dispose of his body.'

Bill told a work colleague of his plans to murder Mr Hay and also sent Mrs Hay a text message telling her she had three options: he would commit suicide, he would kill her husband or he would tell Mr Hay of their affair.

'He was very affectionate, very complimentary,' Mrs Hay told Bradford Crown Court. 'He told me that he loved me, that he'd never stopped loving me and that we should never have split up.'

Horrific: Kenneth Bill is alleged to have murdered John Hay at Meltham Mills Industrial Estate in Meltham, West Yorkshire, pictured

Horrific: Kenneth Bill  murdered John Hay at Meltham Mills Industrial Estate, pictured, in Meltham, West Yorkshire

The indecent proposal
Killer's wife: Carole Bill whose husband Kenneth murdered John Hay

Killer's wife: Carole Bill whose husband Kenneth murdered John Hay

On March 13, Bill left messages for Mr Hay using the pseudonym Eric Johnson and disguising his voice by speaking with marbles in his mouth.

He spoke to him the next day and told him he had some work for him and arranged to meet him.

Bill took Mr Hay to the unit in Meltham, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, on March 15, bolted the door and carried out the 'murderous assault', repeatedly battering him with such force it broke off part of his tooth.

He bound Mr Hay’s arms and legs with duct tape before taking him to Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, where he built a bonfire before setting the body on fire.

He was arrested on March 19 and repeatedly lied to the police, claiming he had never met Mr Hay before changing his story to say Mr Hay had accidentally fallen down some stairs and hit his head.

Judge Benson said Mrs Hay felt guilty for bringing Bill into the lives of her family but said she should not blame herself as she could not have foreseen what he would do.

'She must not, in any way, blame herself for that,' he said.

The Hay family said in a statement after the sentencing that they were pleased it was over and that they had got justice for Mr Hay.

Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Griffin, who led the investigation for West Yorkshire Police, said: 'I am pleased with the sentence. I think it reflects the seriousness of the offence.

'The family are clearly devastated by the loss of John and now feel it is time to move on and pick up the pieces of their lives.

'He was much loved by his family and his colleagues he worked with at West Yorkshire Police.'

Ms Griffin said she was pleased Judge Benson had told Mrs Hay not to blame herself.

She said: 'It will help on bringing some closure to Mrs Hay, who clearly played no part in this. I have every sympathy with the family, they deserve some peace now and to be able to move on.'

 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

I know Mrs hay has to live with the fact if she didnt start the affair this would never of happened !!! RIP

Click to rate     Rating   51

Jim - Manchester. He WAS sentenced to life imprisonment. Respectfully, if you had read the article correctly, the minimum term is 22 year's. Which means, he will have to serve at least 22 years in prison before he will be elligable to apply for parole. I do wish people would understand the difference between sentence and minimum term.

Click to rate     Rating   28

shame on you woman

Click to rate     Rating   60

If she was my mum, don't think I can look at her the way I do.

Click to rate     Rating   53

I don't know why they bother saying 'life' because it clearly isn't the sentence that they receive - or deserve.

Click to rate     Rating   18

She has a affair and she shouldn't blame her self! What a sick sociality we live in!

Click to rate     Rating   102

Well i suppose it depend,s on what the courts,law,and mainly this nations governments,who have a different view of what a life sentance means.Only thing i know for sure is top em,and they sure has egg,s ain,t going to do it again.Life should mean exactly what it say,s,and the age of the person should not come into it nor should thier sex,after all we have equal rights in these enlightened times.It,s far cheaper for the taxpayer to pay for one rope every 25yrs or so,than to keep somebody in nick for one year never mind what they deem to be life.Sorry to say it but the do gooders started to win in the 1960,s and even back then the HMG ingnored the majority to appease the minority.Don,t make no odds to me if 18 or 80 life should mean what it says.

Click to rate     Rating   6

Is it just me who got confused over the photos of the wives? Both got same hairstyle and both called Carol(e)?

Click to rate     Rating   18

Terrible! Why do these people have affairs and ruin so many people's lives? But look how the wives look so similar..............

Click to rate     Rating   61

The man was not a career criminal. He will probably not have his wife. He will be a sad old man around 70 with no job, no wife and an increased propensity to suicide.

Click to rate     Rating   7

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