Joanne Nelson (22) was strangled by her boyfriend Paul Dyson (31), on 13th or 14th February 2005, after an argument over housework (one report does indicate that the argument may have been over splitting up). Dyson then drove 100 miles to dispose of Joanne’s body and made an elaborate cover up of her disappearance, including an emotional appeal on television. Dyson had a history of violence towards women, and had attacked his former wife on their wedding night – strangling her to the point of unconsciousness on that occasion.
Dyson eventually pled guilty to Joanne’s murder, and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 16 years.
Yorkshire Post (08 Nov 2005):
A VIOLENT, CRUEL AND DECEPTIVE KILLER
By Dave Mark
He was known as a big man with a big mouth and a history of sadistic violence towards women. Dave Mark profiles Paul Dyson, who yesterday pleaded guilty to the murder of his girlfriend at their Hull home. He drove 100 miles to dump her body in North Yorkshire – then made a tearful TV appeal for news about her.
Choking back sobs and wringing a handkerchief in his fingers, Paul Dyson looked into the TV camera and spoke of the deep bond of love he shared with missing fiancee Joanne Nelson.
He told how on Valentine’s Day morning, they exchanged cards and shared a cuddle. He had gone to work, and returned home to find her gone. He told reporters he “loved her to bits” and “could never hurt her”. He looked the ultimate broken man.
However, watching the performance, Det Supt Ray Higgins found his attention drawn to Dyson’s hands. He spotted two crescent-shaped cuts on Dyson’s thumbs. The tiny marks were textbook throttling injuries, self-inflicted during the act of strangulation.
And as Dyson stumbled over his words and poured his heart out to reporters, Joanne Nelson’s body was lying in woodland in North Yorkshire, covered with branches and hidden from view. Dyson had killed her days earlier, following a row over his not helping her around the house.
The TV performance was part of an elaborate cover-up hatched only minutes after he strangled Joanne on the floor of the home they shared in Hull. It spoke volumes about the cruel, violent and deceptive man who was Paul Dyson.
Born in Hull in August 1974 to parents Christine and Peter Dyson, with one younger sister and a half-brother, there was little in his childhood that marked him out as a future killer.
Dyson was very close to his father, who, was himself convicted of manslaughter in 1967 and spent six years in prison. Peter Dyson, who was 22 at the time, stabbed John Dickinson, also 22, with a kitchen knife during a fight over Mr Dickinson’s friendship with Mrs Dyson. The fight took place at night in a narrow passageway in Barnsley.
In a separate incident, his father was involved in a road accident which left a 47-year-old man dead. Gordon Kell was on his way home after celebrating his silver wedding anniversary with his wife and family when he was in an accident with a van being driven by Peter Dyson.
Dyson was devastated by his father’s death in June 2000. Peter Dyson had worked as a doorman in Hull’s city centre pubs, and this played a large part in influencing Paul’s later choice of career.
Dyson was educated at the Sydney Smith Comprehensive School until he was 16. He attended Hull College, where he obtained a diploma in civil engineering, and later the Bishop Burton agricultural college, where he obtained a national diploma in horticulture.
At 17, he spent several months in Saudi Arabia with his father, working in general maintenance. He also worked as a gardener for some time, and as a machinist for M&K Pine, of Hull. On December 2, 2004, he started working for Bayram Timber in Somerdon Road, as a crosscut operative, where he was working at the time of his arrest.
Despite being a hard worker, Dyson’s passion was kickboxing. At 15, he was introduced through his father to martial arts expert Colin Allen. He trained Dyson to brown belt standard, and in 1995 Dyson was a reserve for the British team in the World Kickboxing Championships. He later became equally keen on bodybuilding. He began to use anabolic steroids, injecting them straight into his system.
Dyson had a circle of acquaintances, and a handful of close friends. His bond with trainer Colin Allen was demonstrated when Dyson chose to confide in him about Joanne’s murder in the days after the crime. Mr Allen wrestled with the knowledge, before telling Dyson’s mother, who eventually told police of his admission.
Dyson fancied himself as a ladies’ man, who would use his position on nightclub doors to chat up the women who came into the venues. He is remembered by colleagues as “mouthy and loud”, and would spend much of his time talking about his athletic prowess and his physique.
Dyson’s actions after Joanne’s murder clearly demonstrated his arrogance. Closed circuit TV footage filmed at the store across the road from their home in Hotham Road North, showed him calmly buying bin bags and rubber gloves at around the time of Joanne’s death. He wrapped her body in the sacks and carried it to her car, in broad daylight, before driving into the countryside to dump her body.
The next day he went to work and behaved as though nothing untoward had happened.
The Yorkshire Post has learned that Dyson had several key relationships before meeting Joanne. In 1993, he met Kerry Thompson, while they were both attending Bishop Burton agricultural college.
She told police how during arguments he would pace up and down, hitting walls, and grabbing her to stop her leaving.
In June 1999, Dyson met his ex-wife, Jenny Marie Clarke, and proposed after two weeks. He fathered a daughter, Chloe, who was born in October 2000. The couple’s stormy relationship was marred with blazing public rows.
The two separated in 2002 and filed for divorce later that year.
Shortly afterwards, Dyson met Joanne Nelson.
Family and friends recall bright, bubbly personality
SHE was bubbly and bright, a passionate and loving young woman who lived for her family.
Joanne Nelson was her family’s darling, the most popular girl in her circle of friends, and a woman with everything to live for. She longed for a family of her own some day, and thought she had found the man to share it in Paul Dyson, the bodybuilder and big-shot who had charmed her on a night out in Hull.
But the man whom she hoped would protect and care for her snuffed out her life in a moment of violence on her kitchen floor. The wounds inflicted on Joanne Nelson’s family that day will never heal. They are mourning the slaying of a girl without malice who “touched every heart she met”.
At her funeral in May, some 200 mourners packed Hull crematorium”.
A moving tribute was given by one of Miss Nelson’s younger sisters, Katie, 19, which brought many of the mourners to tears.
“Anyone who knew Joanne knew she was a wonderful person,” she said.
“She was fun-loving, high on life and bubbly. She was always the good one, so it’s hard to understand why something like this has happened to her.
“She was my big sister, always looking out for me and taught me what was right and wrong. I didn’t always take notice of her but she was always right.” In tears she added: “I miss you so much. I wish I could give you one last kiss, one last hug, but I will be kissing you and hugging you forever.”
Joanne was a talented sportswoman who was good at netball, rounders and swimming. She had been accepted by Voluntary Service Overseas to work in Ghana, although she later took up a role at a JobCentre in Hull.
She had also spent time training to be a nurse, but found it too emotional to continue. She would return from hospital sobbing at the plight of sick patients.
At the time of her death she was working at Hull JobCentre, where she is fondly remembered. Colleagues told the Yorkshire Post she would go out of her way to do things for people, and that photographs published since her death have not done justice to her beautiful looks.
The man who murdered Joanne when she chastised him for failing to help around the house bound her body with refuse sacks, carried her to her car and drove her to the remote woodland spot, before he returned to their home and began his elaborate cover up; getting rid of her work clothes, leaving messages on her phone.
When he left for work on the day her disappearance was reported, he staged a mock conversation with her on his mobile phone for the benefit of a friend.
Then he cynically turned to Joanne’s parents for support, weeping on her mother’s shoulder and telling her how he longed for her safe return.
The Telegraph (08 Nov 2005):
MAN WHO MURDERED HIS FIANCÉ WAS A KILLER’S SON
By Paul Stokes
The son of a convicted killer murdered his fiancée during a trivial row over loading a washing machine, a court heard yesterday.
Paul Dyson, 31, described as a bully by his former wife, whom he attacked on their wedding night, had admitted the manslaughter of Joanne Nelson at an earlier hearing but changed his plea on the first day of his trial.
Miss Nelson, 22, died on the eve of Valentine’s Day last year at the home they shared in Hull. Dyson reported her missing and made a tearful plea at a police press conference for her return. Her body was discovered in woodland in North Yorkshire five weeks later by the officer leading the operation to find her.
Joanne’s parents, Charlie and Jean, stared at Dyson intently as he stood at Hull Crown Court for a three-minute hearing in which he spoke only to confirm his name and enter his plea. There was a muffled cry of “yes” from the public gallery as he accepted responsibility for the more serious offence. Judge Tom Cracknell adjourned the case until today, when Dyson faces a mandatory life sentence.
Miss Nelson’s disappearance prompted a search involving hundreds of police, the Army and volunteers before her body was found by Det Supt Ray Higgins.
Dyson is believed to have strangled her during an argument after she asked him to put a load of washing in the machine. He told police later that he could not operate it.
Dyson’s late father, Peter, served six years for the manslaughter of his wife’s lover, who he stabbed in a fight in Barnsley in 1967.
Peter Dyson was also involved in a fatal hit and run accident after visiting his then two-day-old son in hospital.
His violent traits were inherited by Paul Dyson, a martial arts enthusiast and one-time body builder, who attacked Jenny Clark on their wedding night. He was violent on several other occasions, once throttling her unconscious – the fate that overtook Miss Nelson.
Miss Clark, 24, by whom Dyson has a five-year-old daughter, said: “He was very troubled when we met. I had had enough after a year and a half of him. I knew when I first saw Joanne she would have difficulty standing up to him. He was a bully.
“He told me about his dad a long time after I had met him. It just came out. Paul said he had done his time and paid the price. I did not know what to make of it. It was a shock.”
She said that their daughter, Chloe, sometimes asked, “Where’s daddy? Where’s Joanne, my best friend”, and she simply tells her that her father has gone away.
Dyson met Miss Nelson, who worked in a job centre, while he was a doorman at bars and clubs in Hull.
Her parents insisted that they did not live together, so they moved in with Dyson’s mother before setting up home in the city’s Cottingham district.
But tensions began to surface over his untidiness and her more ambitious outlook. While he held a number of low-paid jobs and had his daughter to support, she was progressing in her career and talked of travelling the world. He is believed to have exploded into violence when she challenged him to do the laundry. Dyson told police: “She said I could not switch the washing machine on, which I couldn’t.”
An argument is understood to have developed in which they talked of splitting up and selling the house and he lost his temper.
Dyson, who left school at 16 with no qualifications, was said to have hero-worshipped his father and was badly affected by his death in Saudi Arabia in 2000.
The Daily Mail (06 Nov 2005):
LIFE FOR JOANNE’S KILLER AFTER MUM TURNED HIM IN
Killer Paul Dyson, who murdered his 22-year-old girlfriend Joanne Nelson after a row about housework, has been jailed for life.
Dyson was turned into police by his own mother after Miss Dyson was reported missing from the home they shared on Valentine’s Day.
Dyson, 31, told a friend he strangled Miss Nelson after an argument about the laundry at their home in Hull, East Yorkshire, Hull Crown Court heard.
His friend then told Dyson’s mother who contacted police with her concerns.
Yesterday Dyson, who attacked his first wife on their wedding night, admitted murdering Miss Nelson during a three-minute hearing.
Paul Worsley QC, prosecuting said before his sentencing today: “He made a mistake. He confided in someone whom he thought was so close a friend that he would not breach his confidence. Paul Dyson told that man that he had killed Joanne. That person contacted Dyson’s mother and she, responsibly, and you may think with some courage, went to the police.
“It was when confronted with that that he admitted to police that he had lied.”
Earlier Mr Worsley told the court: “From the time he killed her, we submit Paul Dyson kept up a callous and calculated charade, telling family and police alike that he had left Joanne in bed on Valentine’s Day after they had exchanged Valentine cards and that he had gone to work, only to return that evening to find her missing.”
Miss Nelson was reported missing from the home she shared with Dyson at Hotham Road North, in Hull on Valentine’s Day and her body was found in woods near Malton, North Yorkshire on March 24.
Her disappearance in February sparked a huge police hunt, involving hundreds of officers, volunteers and even the army.
Her body was eventually discovered by the detective leading the inquiry, Detective Superintendent Ray Higgins.
Shortly after Miss Nelson disappeared, Dyson appeared on local TV, appearing to be extremely upset, and appealing for help to find her.
Mr Worsley said: “On the evidence, the prosecution contend that he felt that she was losing interest in him and that he determined that if he was not to have her, then nobody else would.
“With his bare hands he strangled to death the slightly-built Joanne Jean Nelson.”
Family cried in court
Several members of Miss Nelson’s family, in the crowded public gallery, were crying as the prosecution case was given to the court.
The court heard that Dyson had “murderous intent”, that he did not try to resuscitate her, did not summon help from neighbours and did not call an ambulance.
The court heard he went to a nearby corner shop and bought bin bags, rubber gloves and disinfectant spray, in a bid to conceal her body and any traces of the killing at their home.
The court heard he drove to his mother’s and collected a garden fork, in order to bury the body.
When he returned from his mother’s he chatted to a next door neighbour and inquired whether she had had a good holiday.
He told her they were getting another cat, and when asked if Miss Nelson was all right, he replied: “Yes, she’s fine.”
Mr Worsley said: “He appeared his usual self. Back inside his house he used string to tie together the hands and feet of the lifeless Joanne. He then bundled her body into bin liner bags and secured them with tape.”
Dyson drove from Hull to Howden to fill up with petrol and from there took the body 75 miles away, to isolated woodland near Hovingham in North Yorkshire, where he carried her body around 250 yards until he found a concealed dip in the pine trees.
Mr Worsley said: “For almost 40 days it lay there, undiscovered and decomposing, as Paul Dyson, we submit, intended it would.”
Mr Worsley told the court that on March 24 Detective Superintendent Higgins made “the most spectacular find of his career” when he found a bin bag with the shape of a bent leg inside it.