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Brothers face life over brutal killing.

Byline: By Hilary Clixby

Two brothers are facing life imprisonment for killing a former Army chef, who was found beaten to death in a Northumberland seaside village.

James Ramshaw, 21, and David Ramshaw, 36, pleaded guilty to the murder of father-of-five John Seccombe in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in July last year.

They had both denied the offence but admitted their guilt at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday when they were due to stand trial.

They were further remanded in custody after sentence was adjourned until February 27 for probation reports to help fix the minimum time they must serve in jail before being considered for parole.

A psychiatric report is also to be prepared on behalf of James Ramshaw at the request of his barrister Toby Hedworth, QC.

Mr Hedworth said medical records disclosed the 21-year-old had been a passenger in a fatal car crash and had also attempted suicide after the death of his father.

He also told the court the day of the killing was the first time James Ramshaw had taken drink since his father's funeral.

"There is enough in the records we have seen to cause us some concern to ensure the court has a full picture of this young man before setting the appropriate tarriff he has to serve," he said.

The brothers, both of East Lea Estate, Newbiggin, were arrested shortly after Mr Seccombe's body was discovered on grassland by police responding to reports of a disturbance on the estate.

A post-mortem examination revealed the 53-year-old, a divorced man, of Memorial Square, Newbiggin, had suffered head and chest injuries.

He was described by neighbour Carol Gibson, who had known him since childhood, as a "very nice" man who formerly worked at the pit and as an Army cook and who spent much of his time in his garden or at his allotment.

Adjourning the case, Judge Esmond Faulks told the brothers: "You will have been advised by your barristers what your sentence will be.

"There is only one sentence but the issue goes to the minimum time you will be detained before being considered for parole."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 31, 2006
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