Woman guilty of the murder of Phillip Nicholson

A woman has today been found guilty of the murder of Phillip Nicholson who was found dead in a flat in Boscombe.

Isabella Gossling, 20 and of Bournemouth, was convicted at Winchester Crown Court following a week-long trial.

Her boyfriend Richard Moors, 25 and also of Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to Phillip’s murder during a previous hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday 16 October 2015.

The pair will be sentenced on Monday 14 December 2015 at Winchester Crown Court.

Phillip’s body was discovered by police at around midday on Tuesday 26 May 2015 in a flat in Mallard Grange on Sea Road. The 22-year-old, who had learning difficulties, died from a stab wound to the neck.

The court heard how Phillip had been lured to the flat of his ex-partner Gossling on the pretence of meeting another girl who they were friends with. This was in fact a lie and part of the plan that had been concocted the previous night by Gossling and Moors.

CCTV recovered during the investigation showed Phillip an hour before the attack arriving in Boscombe meeting up with Gossling and Moors and walking back with them to the flat.

Once there the pair stabbed Phillip and recorded the protracted attack on Gossling’s mobile phone. During the recording Gossling can be heard demanding an apology from Phillip for a sexual assault on her and encouraging Moors to act and kill. This allegation was never substantiated and never reported and is believed by police to be unfounded.

After the attack the pair can also be heard discussing how to leave Phillip’s body to make it look as though he had stabbed himself with a knife. The murder weapon containing Phillip’s blood was found in the sink.

CCTV then showed Gossling and Moors to walk back to Boscombe where they caught a bus together. The pair were arrested in Weymouth later that day.

The jury were told that Phillip was subjected to protracted bullying and threatening behaviour from both Gossling and Moors and they were shown evidence of this in text messages from the pair.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Stewart Balmer, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “We, along with Phillip’s family, are delighted that Isabella Gossling has been convicted today. This follows Richard Moors’ previous guilty plea to Phillip’s murder.

“Family liaison officers are supporting Phillip’s family at this difficult time and our thoughts are very much with Phillip’s family.”

Issued: 9 January 2015

Image: Phillip Nicholson

Phillip Nicholson
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