Rent boy Ricardo Pisano jailed for 18 years for manslaughter of older lover Michael Polding
A rent boy who bled his older lover dry before fatally beating him up and going on the run has been jailed for 18-and-a-half-years.
Ricardo Pisano dubbed the 'Artful Dodger' sat with his head in his hands as he was sentenced after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Michael Polding.
The 36-year-old met Mr Polding and lived with him in Croydon, before following him down to the coast in Brighton at the end of 2011. But in July 2012 Mr Polding's body was found by police.
The 62-year-old died from a blunt force trauma to the chest and was discovered two months after his death, neatly positioned and wrapped up in bedding at his two-bedroom basement flat.
Pisano also known as Brandon Victor Pillay, Roots Lootahin, Ree or Ricky, claimed he returned home to find Mr Polding, who he called St Mikes, had committed suicide by hanging himself from a bannister.
But after deliberating for 29 hours and nine minutes the jury at Lewes Crown Court rejected his defence and found him not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.
He was also found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm and had previously admitted preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.
Pisano evaded capture for nearly a year until he was arrested at a house in Southampton on May 7, under a different name.
Sentencing him Judge Michael Lawson QC said he believed but could not prove, Pisano had started attacking his lover as early as February of that year.
He said by the time Mr Polding who he described as "generous" was £20,000 overdrawn his young lover saw no use for him.
He told him: "As he became less of an asset to you, you treated him with disdain, with violence. It was the only way he would do what he was told.
"When he was lying there weak you told him he was faking it. The relationship was violent and abusive and set in a domestic relationship because you were unable or unwilling to earn your own living. You were obsessed with your own self-interest.You left him to rot."
Speaking on behalf of the family after the hearing, Mr Polding's sister Mary McKeown said: "As a family we are pleased that the trial is over and that justice has been done for our brother, Michael.
"The time since we were told of Michael's death has been a rollercoaster for the family, with far more downs than ups. We have managed to get through the weeks and months only by supporting each other.
"Today's verdict means that we have justice for Michael although that is little comfort against the thought of how we lost him.
"Michael was a happy, loving and gentle person, always ready to help others when needed. He was fun and always enjoyed the company of family and friends.
"We miss Michael every hour of every day. He will always be in our thoughts."
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