Builder Peter Norgrove jailed for killing client in extension row

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Sharon Gordon was found at her home in Dudley in July
By Ben Godfrey
Correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

A builder who bludgeoned his client to death with a hammer in a row over her new extension has been jailed for at least 15 years for murder.

Peter Norgrove killed Sharon Gordon at her home on 20 July last year.

Her daughter Rhian Brown said Norgrove acted like a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” after earning her trust at the church they attended in Dudley.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard he led the Jehovah’s Witness service the same night he killed Mrs Gordon.

He repeatedly lied to her about the work he was doing, which took 15 months instead of six weeks.

“He didn’t have the experience to be doing the work he was doing,” Miss Brown said.

“He took full payment for the extension in advance, which we believe to be more than £30,000.”

Mrs Gordon installed a video doorbell because she thought Norgrove was lying about when he was working

Mrs Gordon fitted a video doorbell to her home to prove that Norgrove had been lying about the times he was claiming to carry out work.

“He drove my Mom mad with stress and anxiety – she noted everything down,” said Miss Brown.

“She had notebooks, receipts, everything, because of how bad this man’s workmanship was.”

‘Where is my nanny?’

The court heard Norgrove became furious when quizzed by his client and hit her eight times in the head with a lump hammer.

“The level of violence was horrendous,” Miss Brown said. “We couldn’t believe what we were hearing.

“‘What do you mean she’s dead?’ I thought.

“My son was saying ‘where is my nanny?’ He was due to sleep over there that weekend.”

Rhian Brown said Norgrove deceived a lot of people

Norgrove, 43, of Bromford Road, Sedgley, claimed to police he had left the property the previous day, but bloodstained items were found in a wheelie bin at a family address and a lump hammer discovered in his mother-in-law’s shed.

Miss Brown said her mother was introduced to Norgrove at the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Dudley but after being recommended to her, it emerged he was a newly-qualified bricklayer.

“This man deceived a lot of people,” she said.

“He had the security net of being of this faith and hid who he really was.

“It doesn’t matter what community you are in, you can have bad individuals.

“I use the phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ and that’s exactly what he’s been able to do.”

Blood-stained items were found at an address connected to Peter Norgrove, police said

Mrs Gordon’s sister Hilary, who lives in Australia, said in a victim impact statement her death had left “darkness and an indescribable pain”.

“It’s affected our sense of family, and robbed us of our future,” she added.

“Our bond was unique, we have been left with a life sentence of grief.”

Mrs Gordon’s family have been left devastated by Norgrove’s attack

Jailing him for life with a minimum term of 15 years, his honour Judge Michael Chambers said it was a “brutal and savage murder with a hammer you had deliberately taken into the home”.

“You were angry for being criticised for your building work which took many months,” he said.

“Afterwards [the murder], you coolly went to school to pick up your daughter and showered and shaved and attended church that evening where you led a service.

“I’m not satisfied you are truly remorseful.

“No sentence I can impose can put the clock back.”

Det Insp Damian Forrest, who led West Midlands Police’s investigation, said Mrs Gordon’s friends and family had been deeply affected by her death.

“While Norgrove has now faced the consequences of his appalling actions, our thoughts remain with them as they continue to grieve,” he said.

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4 December 2023

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