Thelma PurchaseWith Lance Rudge & Shane Edge
|Purchase - 1964
Rudge & Edge - 1988
|Gregory Baker - 61
|Stafford Crown Court
|Mr Justice Saunders
|Christopher Hotton QC
Mother of three, Thelma Yvonne Purchase was a home carer, one of her clients was 61-year-old disabled man, Gregory Baker, having contracted polio as a child he needed constant help.
Thelma, along with other carer worked with Mr Baker on a regular basis, some had noticed that the relationship between Thelma Purchase and Mr Baker, was sometimes inappropriate, she was seen sitting on his lap, and kissing him.
He named her in his will, to the tune of nearly £70,000. She was quite fond of money, and wanted this inheritance early.
June 2007, Purchase drove her son, 19-year-old Lance Rudge, and his friend Shane Edge, also aged-19, from their home in Stoke-On-Trent, to nearby Alton in Staffordshire.`
They entered the house of disabled Mr Baker, who would not have been able to fight them off, then at the instruction of Purchase, Lance Edge smothered Greg Baker in his bed with his pillow.
Edge had been promised £8,000 if he helped in killing Mr Baker. Purchase then drove them all back to Stoke-On-Trent.
10th July 2008, The jury returned with a verdict of guilty of murder to all three defendants.
It emerged during their trial that Mr Baker had given Thelma Purchase £1,500 to buy a car, the Citroen Saxo which she, purchased, was used to drive Edge to Alton to commit the murder.
Sentencing was postponed to allow for reports to be prepared.
31st July 2008, at Stafford Crown Court, the Judge, Mr Justice Saunders, sentenced Thelma Purchase to a minimum 30-years behind bars, saying that the murder of Mr Baker was "truly horrible crime’ motivated by greed".
He sentenced Thelma Purchase’s son, Lance Rudge, and his friend Shane Edge, to serve minimum terms of 18 and 20 years respectively.