A man who admitted assaulting a Scottish woman and perverting the course of justice by preventing her body from being found has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.
Colette Law, from Greenock, was found dead in the grounds of a church in Lincolnshire on July 17, 2023.
The 26-year-old’s body lay undiscovered in a tent at St Mary and St Nicolas Church in Spalding for a week.
Paul Neilson, 30, persistently told people that she had returned to Scotland, but he later admitted knowing that she had died in the tent and deliberately failed to alert any authorities.
The delay in locating Ms Law’s body delayed a post mortem taking place and the commencement of a police investigation.
Ms Law’s exact cause of death was not able to be established.
Neilson was initially charged with murder but the charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Detective Inspector, Adrian Czajkowski, who led the investigation said: “As we quickly and thoroughly progressed our investigation, we started to uncover a pattern of assault. He was a domestic abuse perpetrator, very simply.
“We found that he had assaulted her in the days before her death, as well as perverted the cause of justice, and new charges were filed.
“This discovery was largely down to the tremendous response by members of the community who came forward with their accounts of witnessing altercations, as well as other intelligence – for that, we want to say a very big thank you.
“Without their input, we would never have been able to find any level of justice of Colette and her family. And now I must pay tribute to them. They have handled what is the worst thing a family can handle, with dignity and strength.
“Nothing we or the court system can ever do can bring Colette back, but we can see that the person who brought misery towards the end of her life, and who prevented us and her family from truly understanding what happened to lead to her death, responsible for his actions. I hope that they can now grieve in peace.”
Neilson was sentenced to one charge of assault by beating, two charges of actual bodily harm, and one charge or perverting the course of justice.
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country