Francisco Javier Becerrastuffed a handkerchief inside Brit expat pensioner Lesley Anne Pearson’s mouth and her body was found covered in quicklime in a makeshift grave
A martial arts expert has been jailed for 12 years for strangling a British pensioner in Spain.
Francisco Javier Becerra, 47, stuffed a handkerchief inside Lesley Anne Pearson’s mouth after killing her in a row over wages for gardening he did for her.
The 71-year-old widow was found covered in quicklime in a makeshift grave in the grounds of her home in Algar, near Cadiz, 10 days after she disappeared.
He then stole cash from her wallet and later tried to sell off her belongings.
Becerra was found guilty of homicide after a two-day trial in nearby Jerez.
Prosecutors had asked for a 15-year sentence but after Becerra confessed to killing her he got a lesser term.
Lesley Anne’s brother Stephen Ramsbottom said the thug will serve his full sentence. The 74-year-old, from Rossendale, Lancs, added: “It is not like in England, he gets no reduction.
“The sentence is probably not long enough but if he received 20 years in England, he would only serve 10. There’s no point getting upset about it. That’s what’s been decided. We must accept it. I feel nothing towards Javier.
“He is in jail for the next 12 years and I would imagine life in jail in Spain will be tougher than in the UK.”
The Mirror had exclusively revealed in July how handyman Becerra had been arrested on suspicion of killing Lesley, a yoga teacher known to locals as Lele.
He had falsely claimed to villagers she had sold her home to a Romanian family and started selling off her things. Lesley had moved to another property on the Costa del Sol following the death of her husband Frank in a car accident three years earlier.
But she kept Becerra on to look after her garden.
He claimed he had lashed out in a fit of rage in the row over pay.
Becerra said at his trial: “I didn’t want to hurt her, I got on well with her.”
Judge Lourdes Marin Fernandez said he killed her with “direct intent”.
Becerra was also ordered to pay £20,300 in compensation to her brother.
But Stephen said: “I haven’t got a penny of it. But I’m 74 years old so it’s not going to change my life.”