Well-loved father brutally murdered by prostitute and her pimp

LOCKED UP: Surjit Singh Sidhu.
LOCKED UP: Surjit Singh Sidhu.

A drug-addicted prostitute and her pimp savagely murdered a well-loved father who she had exploited to feed her habit.

Nicola Bedford, of Blackers Court, Thonhill Lees, was jailed for life alongside Surjit Singh Sidhu, of New Hey Road, Lindley, for beating, strangling and suffocating Martin Ackroyd at his home.

BEHIND BARS: Nicola Bedford.

BEHIND BARS: Nicola Bedford.

Sentencing the pair at Bradford Crown Court, Mr Justice Coulson told Bedford: “It seems clear to me Martin Ackroyd loved you perhaps more than all the other men in your life and this is how you repaid him.

“You both sustained the assault because you could – you were drug addicts killing for kicks.”

The court heard that on April 30 Bedford was using drugs with Mr Ackroyd at his home in Ashenhurst Rise, Huddersfield, when he overdosed.

She contacted her long-term partner Sidhu, who used to run a cleaning business, to tell him to come to the house.

Mr Justice Coulson said he was called to the house to help with the removal of evidence if Mr Ackroyd, who suffered from chronic pulmonary disease, died.

But Mr Ackroyd came to and the pair tried to convince him to drop assault charges that were filed against them.

A court order was also in place banning Sidhu, 49, from contacting Mr Ackroyd.

When Mr Ackroyd refused to go along with their plan they began to beat him and tied him up after he collapsed.

Mr Justice Coulson said: “This was the critical moment, you could have stopped the assault, but you did not.”

Sidhu tied a ligature and a shirt around Mr Ackroyd’s neck and Bedford put a plastic bag over his head while they continued to beat him.

They had planned to dismember Mr Ackroyd’s body after cleaning the crime scene but they did not go through with this.

During her trial, when Bedford lied and blamed the killing on Sidhu, she said Mr Ackroyd pleaded for the attack to stop.

A cloth, found stained with blood, was stuffed into his mouth to stop him from screaming.

Mr Justice Coulson said: “I have no doubt he suffered significantly before he died.”

He accepted the murder was not premeditated and that the initial intention was not to kill, but he said that changed when the pair tied Mr Ackroyd up.

Bedford, 30, was identified from a fingerprint and Sidhu from DNA.

Sidhu told another inmate while he was on remand that he tortured Mr Ackroyd and had no regrets. “He had it coming,” he said.

The court heard Sidhu was sexually obsessed with Bedford and was violent to her.

A jury found Bedford guilty and Sidhu admitted the offence 10 days into his trial.

The were jailed for life and must serve a minimum term of 21 years each.