Castle dating back to 16th century where jealous millionaire tycoon murdered his escort girlfriend goes up for sale for nearly £1million
- Peter Morgan strangled Georgina Symonds in a bungalow on the castle grounds
- Grade II-listed castle is up for auction with a guide price exceeding £950,000
- Morgan paid Miss Symonds up to £10,000 per month to be his ‘exclusive’ escort
- He allowed her to live rent-free in the bungalow where she was killed
A sprawling castle estate where a millionaire ‘sugar daddy’ strangled his 25-year-old escort girlfriend is up for auction for just under £1million.
Peter Morgan strangled former burlesque dancer Georgina Symonds at her rent-free bungalow in the grounds of Pencoed Castle in Llanmartin, south Wales, in a ‘premeditated and carefully planned’ murder.
Now, the Grade II-listed castle – including the bungalow on its grounds – is up for auction with a guide price exceeding £950,000.
A sprawling castle estate (pictured) where a millionaire ‘sugar daddy’ strangled his 25-year-old escort girlfriend is up for auction for just under £1million
Father-of-two Morgan paid Miss Symonds up to £10,000 per month to be his ‘exclusive’ escort and allowed her to live rent-free in the bungalow where she was killed.
But the pair’s arrangement fell apart as Morgan – who was worth £20million – became ‘increasingly controlling and obsessive’ and used listening devices to spy on his mistress.
Morgan, who’s father is the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, David Morgan, believed Miss Symonds was planning to blackmail and ‘fleece’ him.
Peter Morgan (left) strangled former burlesque dancer Georgina Symonds (right) at her rent-free bungalow in the grounds of Pencoed Castle in Llanmartin, south Wales, in a ‘premeditated and carefully planned’ murder
Killer’s grisly ‘shopping list’
Peter Morgan wrote a chilling shopping list of items he needed to carefully dispose of his escort lover’s body, his murder trial heard.
The millionaire businessman typed the list into his iPhone at 3.20am – five hours after he tapped Georgina Symonds’s phone and learned of her plot to fleece him.
Written in the early hours after he became ‘enraged’ by her plans, the macabre list, entitled ‘String’, read: ‘O2, poly, glove, snip, handle, tape, Special K, starter, rag, adapter.’
Hours earlier Morgan had overheard Miss Symonds tell her new love interest Thomas Ballinger that she intended to leave the millionaire and go back to escorting in London, where she would continue to ‘fleece’ him.
Prosecutors said that on January 12 2016 – a day after he wrote the list – Morgan took tape, twine, a metal pole and plastic sheeting to Miss Symonds’s rural bungalow in Llanmartin, near Newport.
He had also bought a mobile phone SIM card a day earlier, the jury heard, and told police officers that it was to call a taxi after dumping Miss Symonds’s body. After strangling the mother of one with the twine, Morgan wrapped her body in sheeting and bound it with rope and tape.
He had meticulously positioned her body so it would neatly fit inside the boot of his £52,000 Porsche Cayenne, the court heard.
CCTV footage taken two hours later showed Morgan driving to an outbuilding at the farmhouse he had previously shared with his wife, before taking Miss Symonds’s body – wrapped in sheeting and attached to a bar – out of the car.
He dumped her body in an outbuilding of his large, rural home near his former family home in Usk, Gwent but later attended a police station and confessed.
Morgan, who was 54 at the time of the killing, was ordered to serve at least 25 years behind bars for the killing. It is not known if he still owns the property.
Planning permission to restore the castle – dating back to 16th century – comes with the sale, the auction house told The Sun.
At his sentencing judge Mr Justice Neil Garnham QC said: ‘This killing was premeditated and carefully planned. In my judgment you must have caused Georgina Symonds significant physical and mental suffering as you strangled her, pausing to speak to her, strangling her again, pausing for her reaction and tightening it again for a final time.
‘She would have realised that you were intending on slowly snuffing the life out of her.’
Newport Crown Court had heard Miss Symonds had a series of intimate pictures of Morgan, who is worth £20million, which she threatened to show to his wife and daughters.
She had pictures of Morgan engaging in threesomes at his family home, Beech Hill Farm in Usk, Gwent, as well as images of her wearing his wife’s dressing gown there.
After over-hearing her plans to leave him, the father-of-two made a murder kit shopping list reading: ‘String, 02, poly, glove, snip, handle, tape, Special K, starter, rag, adapter’.
Morgan confronted Miss Symonds – who had a five-year-old daughter – at her home in January 2016, wrapping bailing twine around her neck and strangling her to death.
The mother-of-one, described by family and friends as stubborn and strong-willed, remained defiant until the end with her final words directed at Morgan: ‘You’re going pay for this.’
Morgan then taped Georgina’s legs behind her and wrapped her in a plastic sheet attached it to a metal pole so he could carry her into the boot of his £52,000 Porsche Cayenne.
He then drove to an outhouse at his home and hid her body behind an industrial saw.
Her murder only came to light when she failed to pick her daughter up from school and her mother was contacted.
Morgan – who is estranged from his wife Helen – admitted killing Miss Symonds but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility and loss of control. The jury rejected his defence.
Morgan was filmed by a police ‘bodycam’ telling officers he had no idea where Georgina Symonds was on the day he had murdered her. He was today jailed for life for her murder
Key moments in the millionaire’s murder plot
:: August – Miss Symonds moves into Castle Bungalow in Llanmartin, a property owned by Peter Morgan and his estranged wife Helen.
:: November 9 – Morgan installs a listening device at the bungalow.
:: November 15 – Peter Deem, the partner of Miss Symonds, goes missing after arguing with her in text messages.
:: November 17 – Mr Deem’s body is found. He has taken his own life by hanging.
:: November 21 – Miss Symonds threatens to blackmail Morgan with intimate photographs and videos.
:: December 11 – Miss Symonds meets Mr Deem’s best friend, Thomas Ballinger, at his wake. They start an affair.
:: January 10 – Miss Symonds and Mr Ballinger discuss her plans to blackmail Morgan, which Morgan overhears.
:: January 11
3.19am – Morgan makes a list on his iPhone reading: ‘String, 02, poly, glove, snip, handle, tape, Special K, starter, rag, adapter’.
10.56am – CCTV cameras at Beech Hill Farm, Morgan’s marital home, show him collecting a metal pole and rope from a workshop.
:: January 12
9.47am – Miss Symonds speaks to best friend Alexy Butcher for three minutes. Morgan arrives at the bungalow during the conversation.
11.38am – Morgan calls Miss Symonds’ mother, Deborah, and raises concerns about her drug use. He has already strangled Miss Symonds.
11.57am – CCTV cameras show Morgan arriving at Beech Hill Farm in his Porsche Cayenne and parking near the workshop.
12.01pm – Morgan removes Miss Symonds’ body – wrapped in polythene and tape – from the Porsche and carries it into the workshop, along with a black bag of her belongings.
12.09pm – Morgan leaves the farm.
3.15pm – Miss Symonds fails to collect her daughter from school and her mother is alerted.
5.30pm – Miss Butcher goes to the bungalow to look for Miss Symonds and meets Morgan there.
8.14pm – Miss Butcher reports Miss Symonds missing to Gwent Police.
:: January 13
12am – Morgan accompanies police to Maindee police station.
4.45am – Morgan tells two detectives: ‘I can’t take it, I need to tell you. I strangled her this morning. I took her body to Beech Hill Farm. She is in the building there. I loved her so much.’
4.47am – Morgan is arrested on suspicion of murder. He tells detectives that Miss Symonds’ body is locked in an outbuilding and hands over a set of keys.
6am – Police officers attend Beech Hill Farm and discover Miss Symonds’ body and the bag containing her belongings.
:: January 14
3.57pm – Morgan is charged with the murder of Miss Symonds.
:: January 27 – Pathologist Dr Richard Jones carries out a post-mortem examination on Miss Symonds and concludes she was strangled.
:: November 28 – Morgan goes on trial at Newport Crown Court accused of Miss Symonds’ murder.
:: December 21 – The jury finds Morgan guilty of murder.