THE grieving family of Pamela Jackson broke down in tears as her killer was convicted of manslaughter.
Adrian Muir killed the much loved mother and grandmother then buried her body in a moorland grave 120 miles away.
The 51-year-old carried out the killing at her Chester-le-Street home then transported her corpse in the back of his car to the moors near Halifax in West Yorkshire.
There, he used a spade to dig a grave where he deposited the 55-year-old’s body, along with a bunch of flowers in a Tesco carrier bag.
The killer then made a series of taped confessions about what he had done before joining her desperate family who were frantically searching for her.
Muir was arrested and charged with murder just days after the grandmother and mum-of-three was reported missing.
But it took detectives, who launched a nationwide search, two months to track down Mrs Jackson’s gravesite on moorland Muir knew “every inch” of due to his fell running, outdoor hobbies and work commitments as a dry-stone waller in the area.
She had died as a result of blunt force injury to the head caused by at least four blows.
During a trial at Newcastle Crown Court Muir denied murder and claimed he had been framed by the “real killer”.
His denials were despite the fact his telephone and car were traced travelling from Mrs Jackson’s home to her gravesite on the last day her family saw her alive, his fingerprint being found on the carrier bag inside her grave, soil from the burial plot being found in his car and a pool of Mrs Jackson’s blood being found under the back seat of his car.
After two days deliberation a jury found him not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
Mrs Jackson’s grieving family were at Newcastle Crown Court when jurors found Muir guilty.
Mrs Jacksons sons Joe, 23, Christopher, 28, and Andrew, 36 endured days in court facing the torment of their mum’s killer denying what he had done.
Her sisters Deborah Leighton, 51, Marion Elsinor, 52, and Janette Fraser, 55, sat through days of detailed evidence of their sibling’s last days on earth.
Mrs Leighton said: “The trial is over now but this is not over for us. This is just the start.
“We are still struggling to cope with the fact she is not here anymore.
“We are now facing a lot of ‘firsts’ without her, her boys’ birthdays, family gatherings and the prospect of christmas with her not here.
“Muir has barefaced lied throughout this, we’ve sat and listened to things that happened to our sister that will live with us forever.
“How can we even begin to get over what he has done to Pamela and our family?
“We have a long road ahead of us now and nothing will ever be the same for any of us.
“This trial process has just been the one of the first steps for us.
“Pamela went missing in March, it has only been a matter of months, it is still very raw for all of us.
“Pamela was such a huge part of so many people’s lives.
“She will never be forgotten.”
Jurors had heard during the trial how Muir left his partner of 32-years after he met Mrs Jackson over dating website Fling.com.
The court heard Mrs Jackson moved Muir into her home shortly after they met but their relationship had deteriorated rapidly in the weeks before her death.
During a series of text messages from that time messages showed the couple had argued and she had goaded him about having another lover.
Muir claimed in the first recording he made on his mobile phone after the murder that “things went wrong”, and Mrs Jackson had ordered him out of her house at The Crescent.
He then said on the tape: “She were like a bloody devil. She got my knife and tried attacking me with it, and I got it off her and shoved her down and she hurt her head and that.
“I can’t explain, but it were a disaster and I’m heartbroken.
“I can’t live. I can’t live anymore.”
During the second recording, Muir speaks about money and talks of killing himself.
In the third, Muir speaks of Miss Jackson, whom he called Chrissie, and said: “I love Chrissie to bits, but she isn’t here now and I did a terrible thing.”
Muir has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.