CALLOUS killer Kenneth Bill will be sentenced to life imprisonment today for the murder of his secret love's husband.
A jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday afternoon found him guilty of killing former police officer John Hay, 61, and burning his body on a bonfire.
Businessman Bill, a 63-year-old father-of-three, revealed details of his plans to get rid of Mr Hay in the weeks leading up to the Fenay Bridge builder's disappearance in March.
But he claimed they were just fantasies and Mr Hay had died during a struggle when he banged his head.
During Bill’s trial the jury heard how he had rekindled his relationship with Mr Hay's wife Carol more than 30 years after they had been a couple.
Although Mrs Hay told the court how she had tried to end the secret affair the prosecution alleged that Bill, who was separated from his wife, became obsessed with the relationship and plotted to kill her husband.
Bill lured his unsuspecting victim to a bogus meeting and then attacked him at an empty industrial unit at Meltham Mills.
Initially Bill talked about disposing of his body in barrel of sulphuric acid, but he bundled Mr Hay into a builder's bag and took his body in a horse box to land at his home in Upper Hagg Road, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth.
Bill told the jury he had said the Lord's Prayer as the body burned on the bonfire and he stoked the fire several times. He then loaded the ashes into bags and dumped them on local waste tips.
He drove Mr Hay's van to the Humber Bridge in an effort to make the disappearance look like a suicide. The jury of seven women and five men took less than three hours to return their unanimous guilty verdict.
Judge Peter Benson said he would pass sentence on Bill at 11am today.
Bill, who showed no emotion, faces a mandatory life sentence for the murder but the judge will decide the minimum term he must serve before being considered for release.
Det Chief Insp Lisa Griffin, who headed the inquiry, said: “The Hay family are devastated by their loss and now have to face a life ahead without the love and support of this very special man.”
SHE was the centre of a love- triangle murder case.
But last night, Mrs Carol Hay told how killer Ken Bill had wrecked so many lives.
Mrs Hay – who had an affair with Bill – spoke out hours after he was convicted of the murder of her husband, John Hay.
Mrs Hay, of Fenay Bridge, said: “I am so relieved that justice has been done and Ken Bill has been found guilty of this horrific crime.
“Not only has he wrecked the lives of my family, robbing us of a most wonderful husband, father and grandad, he has also surely devastated his own family's lives.
“The whole thing has been a terrible ordeal but I am so grateful to West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team for the diligent way in which this matter was investigated and the caring and sensitive manner in which our family has been treated”.
Mrs Hay and Bill had their affair 30 years after they had first got together.
Det Chief Insp Lisa Griffin, who headed the inquiry, said: “Kenneth Bill planned this murder in meticulous detail, intending to dispose of all evidence in the hope that John Hay’s family, friends and the police would believe that he had committed suicide by jumping off the Humber Bridge.
“But John Hay had no reason to commit suicide, he was a successful businessman with a loving wife, adult children and grandchildren.
“He was devoted to them and they in return loved him dearly.
“He was described by all who knew him as a hard working, thoroughly decent man who was a gentle giant.
“He was reported missing by his family after he failed to return home on Thursday, March 15 after taking his granddaughter to school that morning.
“He was then lured to industrial premises in Meltham Mills on the false pretext of undertaking building work and was beaten to death by Kenneth Bill.’’