The man who murdered a Little Gaddesden grandfather has been sentenced to life in prison and must serve a minimum term of 40 years.
Ian McLouglin pleaded guilty to killing Graham Buck, 66, in Nettleden Road, Little Gaddesden, on Saturday, July 13, earlier today at the Old Bailey.
In his summing up, Mr Justice Sweeney said no sentence he could impose would reflect the ‘pain and suffering that you have so needlessly inflicted on his family.’
He read out a victim statement by Mr Buck’s wife Karen. It said; “Unfortunately Graham surprised someone in the middle of something but there was no need to kill him.
“He was not a big man, he could just have been pushed over or knocked out.”
She described Mr Buck’s murder as ‘the most vicious act of cowardice possible’.
She said: “I will never forget that moment of the disbelief, shock and horror when I was told he had been murdered.”
McLoughlin must serve a minimum term of 40 years to run concurrent to eight years in prison for the robbery of Francis Cory-Wright.
Det Insp Martin Brunning from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit said: “This was a horrific crime during which an innocent person lost their life. Mr Buck’s actions were totally selfless and illustrate a deep sense of community spirit which deserves recognition and respect.
“Mr Buck was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and has been described as a man who would help anyone in need, with a strong sense of doing the right thing.
“Our thoughts are with Graham’s family at this time. No one should lose a loved one in these circumstances but I hope that today’s verdict will be of some comfort to them.
“I would like to thank them for their support and dignity in what has been an extremely traumatic time for them. I would also like to thank the community for their understanding and support.
“As a result of a very determined policing effort we were able to apprehend Ian McLoughlin. The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit work relentlessly to pursue criminals who commit these crimes and I would like to thank all those involved, including colleagues in the Metropolitan Police, for their support and professionalism in dealing with this case and bringing Graham’s killer to justice.”
Ruth Bowskill of the Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service added: “Mr Buck, who had gone to the aid of his elderly neighbour, Francis Cory-Wright, after he heard cries for help, had the misfortune to come across Ian McLoughlin.
“We know that the robbery of Mr Cory-Wright was motivated by greed and that McLoughlin is an extremely dangerous man, but we may never know why McLoughlin murdered Mr Buck, who was an extremely selfless man.
“We have worked closely with Major Crime Unit since this investigation was launched. The overwhelming evidence against McLoughlin has led to his guilty pleas today.
“This case represents a tragedy for the family of Mr Buck. The victim, who was married with children and grandchildren, was brutally murdered in an unprovoked attack just yards from his home.
“His family, friends, and the community have been devastated by his untimely death.
“As a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.
“We know that nothing will bring Mr Buck back to his family, but we hope that today’s conviction and sentence brings them at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time.”