Two women who helped a murderer leave the United Kingdom have been sentenced to more than seven years’ imprisonment between them.
Rachel Woods and Linda Harris, also known as Linda Cutts, both helped Billy Dole fly to Turkey after he killed 39-year-old Peter Beale in Rochester High Street in September 2018.
Both were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 9 January 2020.
Mr Beale was killed by Dole following an altercation near the Rochester High Street Bridge on the night of 17 September. His body was discovered the following morning by a member of the public.
Following the offence Woods, Dole’s partner, requested help from her mother, Harris, to help him evade justice.
The pair helped finance a flight Dole took to Turkey and onward trips to Cyprus.
After extensive CCTV enquiries, which identified Dole as the offender, Kent Police officers went to arrest him at his address in Chorister Crescent, Hoo, on 20 September.
At the property Woods refused to co-operate and told detectives Dole had left for work two days ago and not returned – behaviour that she said was not unusual for him.
She then repeatedly told her mother not to co-operate with the attending officers but Harris went on to reveal she had recently driven Dole to Stansted Airport.
Security cameras captured Harris’ vehicle travelling to Stansted Airport to drop Dole off. A check of the pair’s financial records showed they had both helped fund a last-minute flight Dole took to Turkey, and onward trips to Cyprus, on 19 September.
Communications on both of their mobile phones also showed they were aware Dole was wanted for a serious offence and Harris had asked associates to keep quiet if they were questioned by the police.
Harris also carried out online searches to try and see what CCTV cameras may have captured Dole at the scene of the murder.
Dole returned to the United Kingdom on 27 September and was arrested at Gatwick Airport.
Woods, 32 and of Chorister Crescent, Hoo, denied assisting an offender and was found guilty following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court. She was sentenced to three years and 10 months imprisonment.
Harris, 57 and of School Road, Wisbech, Norfolk, admitted assisting an offender and was sentenced to three years and give months.
In March 2019 Dole pleaded guilty to Mr Beale’s murder. The 29-year-old will be sentenced on 31 January 2020 alongside co-offender Levi Webb, 23 and formerly of Station Road, Northfleet, who pleaded guilty to Manslaughter.
Detective Chief Inspector Tristan Kluibenschadl, Kent Police’s senior investigating officer for the case, said: ‘These two offenders knowingly, and willingly, attempted to help Billy Dole escape justice despite knowing he was wanted for a serious offence.
‘Their actions showed a complete disregard for the victim, and the pain his family would have been experiencing, and I am pleased we were able to quickly disprove their attempts to hinder our investigation and that they have now faced justice.’