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Conman guilty of murdering lover in Cheshire

Diana Lee was bludgeoned to death by David Ryan Credit: Cheshire police

A "devious conman" who cheated more than £60,000 out of his wealthy secret lover was today found guilty of her murder.

Businesswoman Diana Lee, 54, was bludgeoned to death at her home in affluent East Cheshire by her debt-ridden boyfriend David Ryan, a trial at Chester Crown Court heard.

Ryan, 48, of Byrom Street, Altrincham, spent the cash he stole from Ms Lee on IVF treatment for his wife and a list of other luxuries, the court heard.

He denied murder but today he was found guilty by a jury of six men and six women after around three hours of deliberations.

The divorcee's naked body was found face down in a wheelbarrow full of wood by firefighters who were called to attend a blaze at her gated detached property in the leafy village of Cranage, near Holmes Chapel, on August 9 last year, Chester Crown Court heard.

Ms Lee - the owner of a "luxury cattery" - suffered fatal head wounds from "a sustained attack with a blunt object" and her genitals had been mutilated, the jury heard.

Ryan, with greying, shoulder-length hair and wearing a grey suit, white shirt and striped tie, gave no reaction as the verdict was delivered.