The family of murdered pensioner Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Miceli have paid tribute to a “kind and generous man”, following the conviction of his killer Mark Ellson.
Ellson was today sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 24 years, by Judge Rupert Mayo at Northampton Crown Court.
Police have already described the 41-year-old, formerly of Wellingborough, as a “cold and calculating” man who carried out a senseless killing.
A statement, read on behalf of the family outside court, said: “We welcome the verdict of the court and the sentence given to Mark Ellson. It has been a hugely difficult time for all Joe’s family and friends, and we are pleased that Ellson has been brought to justice for Joe’s murder.
“We all miss Joe greatly, especially at family gatherings, and it was particularly difficult at Christmas, our first one without him. He was taken from us in such a cruel and brutal way by a man who targeted a defenceless, disabled pensioner because he had money he could steal.
“Ellson was a cold and calculating individual who left a vulnerable man beaten and dying, and we hope he stays locked up for a very long time. There is no excuse for what he did.
“We are happy the jury has come to the right conclusion and it is a huge relief to all the family, after what has been a long and difficult few months since Joe’s death last July. We are grateful Joe can finally rest in peace.
“Joe was a kind and generous man. Family was hugely important to him and he was well-regarded by friends and neighbours too. He encouraged you in everything you did and he always brought out the best in people. He worked really hard and his main priority was to provide the very best for his family.
“When he was in his late twenties he lost part of his lower leg in an accident, and had to learn to walk again. It was around this time he met a man who used to deal in coins, and that’s where his love for coins and medals began.
“Joe didn’t have any qualifications. He started from scratch and made a successful business out of his interest in coins and medals. They were his passion.
“He was well respected in the business and was often asked for expert advice. He was very trusting and liked to take an old-fashioned, informal approach to business.
“He was finally talking about retirement and taking it easy. He said 2014 would be his year, when he would relax and a new life would start. He was looking forward to travelling with his family and visiting Italy again. It’s so sad that he lost his life in such a sudden and cruel way, and is not here to live out his dreams of a long and happy retirement.
“We would like to close by thanking everyone who has helped us through what has been a very difficult time, in particular the police for their hard work and determination in bringing Joe’s killer to justice, and for the support they have provided throughout.”