Norma Bell murder: Man found guilty of killing the foster mum and setting her house on fire

Gareth Dack had denied strangling 79-year-old widow Norma at her Hartlepool home, but was found guilty after trial. Dack then set fire to her home.

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Gareth Dack jailed for 33 years for Norma Bell's murder

A man who murdered a Hartlepool grandmother before setting her home on fire has been given a life sentence, with a minimum of 33 years in prison.

Gareth Dack, 33, strangled Norma Bell last April, stealing a television, phone and cash from her house to fund his cocaine habit.

She was 79 years old, and had been a foster carer to more than 50 children.

Gareth Dack used Mrs Bell's landline phone to call a sex chat-line, as she lay dying. Credit: Cleveland Police

Dack was found guilty of murder and arson by a jury at Teesside Crown Court.

He was given a nine-year sentence for arson, to be served concurrently.

Judge Mrs Justice Whipple told him: "It must have been a truly terrifying ordeal for Norma Bell. You would have overpowered her with ease. You knelt on her and used extreme violence against her. You committed a terrible crime."

Norma Bell Credit: Family photograph


Norma Bell's family speak outside of court

The family of Norma Bell spoke outside of Teesside crown court after the judge found Gareth Dack guilty of the murder of their mother.

Dack was also found guilty of arson.

The 32 years old father-of-four set fire to Mrs Bell's Hartlepool home in an attempt to cover up what he had done.

Norma's Family say 'forgiveness will never be given'.


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