Killer who kept sick trophies after battering former girlfriend to death in 2002 jailed

Keith Hill killed his girlfriend Rachel Wilson and then hid her body in a ditch, with detectives later finding a lock of her hair and her last note in his wallet.

A killer who kept sick trophies from his victim was jailed for 18 and a half years yesterday after admitting manslaughter.

Keith Hall, 62, finally faced justice after battering his former girlfriend Rachel Wilson to death in 2002, hiding her body in a ditch – then telling police she had run away with a man from a fairground.

Detectives found the trophies, including a lock of Rachel’s hair and her last note, in his wallet.

A court heard that her family had suffered the ‘daily agony’ of not knowing what had happened to her before her remains were finally discovered in 2012.

Sentencing Hall, his Honour Judge Watson QC, Recorder of Middlesbrough, said: “You took her body to farmland where her remains were dumped, naked in a ditch.

“The discovery of her body there in 2012 led to the longest and largest homicide enquiry in the history of the Cleveland police.

“Instead of cooperating with that enquiry you repeatedly lied to the police about her disappearance and maintained total ignorance of what had become of her.”

The note Hall kept was written by Rachel just hours before she was last seen alive at 7.02am on May 31, 2002.

Cleveland Police officers spent 572,000 hours over 11 years, including viewing more than 20,000 hours of CCTV, in bringing Hall to justice.

Judge Watson QC jailed him for 18 and a half years jail for manslaughter, living off the earnings of prostitution and attempting to pervert the course of justice after he dumped her naked body on farmland outside of Middlesbrough.

Jonathan Sandiford QC, prosecuting, told Teesside crown court that Hall had used beatings and violence to control ‘vulnerable’ prostitute Rachel, forcing her onto the streets to earn money to pay for his cocaine and heroin.

Witnesses told how she appeared ’emaciated’ shortly before her death.

Hall kept what detectives described as ‘mementoes’ of her in his wallet. Judge Watson described the homicide probe as “colossal”, and said it was a credit to Cleveland Police, a force which in recent times “has too frequently been maligned”.

Ms Wilson’s sister Nicola of the heartbreak caused by her death, and how her family had waited 19 years to find out what happened to her.