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Gay conman from Flintshire ‘killed his married lover’

A GAY Flintshire con artist killed his married lover – a dad-of-three – after he became suspicious about his past, a court has been told.

Gareth MacDonald left his wife and children for ex-British Airways steward Glenn Rycroft but feared he was involved with a ‘conman’, jurors heard.

Rycroft had previously cheated friends and colleagues of more than £200,000 in a fraudulent investment scheme and by pretending he had cancer.

Mr MacDonald, 30, a former pub manager from Prestatyn, was killed in a Travelodge hotel room off the M4 in September 2007.

Crispin Aylett QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey: “The defendant murdered Gareth MacDonald by hitting him twice over the head with a fire extinguisher.”

The couple had stayed overnight in the room at Heston services and Rycroft was seen on CCTV driving off at 7am.

Mr Aylett said by this time he had already murdered Mr MacDonald – but he came back shortly afterwards and after returning to the room ran to reception asking for an ambulance.

Rycroft, 33, of Rhewl, Holywell, denies murder.

In November 2000, Rycroft went on unpaid leave from his job and later resigned, claiming falsely he had a cancerous brain tumour.

Rycroft said he needed expensive medical treatment in Australia.

His brother Paul borrowed £10,000 and gave him £15,000 in total while a family friend contributed £5,000.

Mr MacDonald married wife Eirlys in January 2006. She was pregnant with their third daughter when he told her he was gay and had met Rycroft on the internet. He moved out to live with Rycroft in February 2007.

Mr MacDonald began to become suspicious about his lover emptying his bank account after his card was refused in a shop.

The day before the murder, the couple travelled from Chester to meet Rycroft’s aunt and uncle so Rycroft could pay back £5,000 he owed.

Mr Aylett said they got ‘preposterously lost’ to avoid the meeting and ended up at the Travelodge.

Rycroft’s fingerprints were found on the fire extinguisher, but he said this was as he had been teasing Mr MacDonald with it during ‘sexual horseplay’.

The trial continues.

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