A man who killed a ‘trusting, vulnerable and easily led’ homeless woman in Eastbourne has been jailed.
Wayne Marshal was convicted of the manslaughter of Tracy Patsalides earlier this week after lengthy trial.
Her body was found at a shelter on Eastbourne promenade in June this year.
Marshall, 38, of no fixed address, was found not guilty of murder but was convicted of manslaughter by majority verdict. He was also found not guilty of robbing his friend.
He appeared at Lewes Crown Court today for sentencing.
Marshall’s defence barrister Nicholas Atkinson QC said: “He deeply regrets the fact there was a death and the verdict of the jury points to him so in as way there is remorse there.”
Mr Atkinson noted that Marshall has ‘no history of abuse’ towards Tracy or to anybody, and added that there is no evidence that the killing was premeditated.
Sentencing Marshall, Mr Justice Christopher Butcher said: “The jury has found you guilty of the manslaughter of Tracy Patsalides.
“By your actions you deprived her of the most valuable thing she possessed, her life.”
He described how Tracy was a ‘trusting, vulnerable and easily led’ person.
“I have read with great care the statement of Tracy’s mother, Teresa Patsalides.
“It movingly describes the sense that her life has been hijacked because of Tracy’s death.
“You are responsible for that death and for that grief.”
Mr Justice Butcher said that because Marshall always claimed not to remember what happened on the night Tracy died, what really took place may never be known.
He continued: “I consider it an aggravating feature that Tracy was vulnerable, and that there was some persistence in the violence as indicated by the number and nature of her injuries.”
Marshall was jailed for 14 years.
He will serve up to half of that time in custody and the rest on licence.
Following the verdict earlier this week, police praised the homeless community for coming forward to help the investigation which led to Marshall's conviction.