A baggage handler murdered his lover in a “fit of rage” as he attempted to steal money to feed his drug habit.
Hove Crown Court heard Jayesh Gobar, 36, from Crawley, West Sussex, murdered British Airways host Nelly Myers in her home in Rotherfield, near Crowborough, on December 17 last year.
Jurors heard 58-year-old Mrs Myers, a divorced customer services host at Gatwick Airport, was having a “passionate” relationship with Gobar and was “devoted” to him.
On Monday he was convicted of her murder.
Richard Hearnden, prosecuting, told the court Gobar appeared to be “only interested in Mrs Myers money” and a possible motive for the killing was to steal from her.
Mr Hearnden told the jury that Gobar had been jailed in 2018 for robbery after he attacked Mrs Myers in her home before forcing her to take £50 from the bank.
He said that despite Gobar being ordered to stay away from Mrs Myers, the pair were in contact by phone while he was in prison, and following his release in 2019 they continued their relationship after she sent him a friend request on Facebook.
The prosecutor said: “Mrs Myers fell in love with Mr Gobar, there is no other way of putting this, she was totally obsessed with him and was devoted to him.
“What they had was an irregular and turbulent but often passionate acquaintance.
“Sexual intimacy happened but was infrequent; while she craved company and attention, he on the other hand seemed to be only interested in her money.
“She was always giving him cash and he was using that cash for drugs.”
Mrs Myers was found dead at her home on the evening of December 18 after her son James alerted police.
Officers found her lying partially dressed in the hallway having suffered multiple injuries and Mr Hearnden said a post-mortem examination found that she died of severe head injuries.
The prosecutor said Gobar’s footprint was found on scattered paperwork in her house and her blood was found on his shoes when he was arrested.
He said: “Mr Gobar was not a professional killer, he killed her in a fit of rage in order to steal from her thereby to feed a drug habit.”
Mr Hearnden said Mrs Myers was born in Lima, Peru, and worked for the South American country’s national airline before she met and married British Airways pilot Kevin Myers.
She moved to the UK and had two sons, James and David, and they lived in the family home, “a suburban-looking detached house” in Crowborough, but Mrs Myers lived alone after the marriage ended in 2014.
Gobar will be sentenced on Wednesday.
Judge Christine Laing QC told him: “There is only one sentence I can pass and that is life imprisonment but I need the assistance of counsel before I can decide what the appropriate minimum term is.”