'Cold and calculated' killer tied scarf around Beeston woman's neck and watched her die

Ruth graduating
-Credit: (Image: Nottimghamshire Police)

The family of a Nottinghamshire woman who was killed at her home have paid tribute to her and described her death as 'cold calculated murder'. Ruth Hufton, 46, was found dead in a flat in County Close, Beeston, on September 25, 2023, four days after she had a scarf tied around her neck.

Anthony Green, 51, also of County Close, was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, June 13. He initially pleaded not guilty to murder on September 30, 2023, before entering a guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter on March 24 this year.

This plea was accepted and Green did not face trial over the murder allegation. Today (June 13) at his sentencing hearing for manslaughter the court was told that Ms Hufton and the defendant lived in adjacent blocks of flats.

Following the breakdown of a toxic relationship, Ms Hufton was 'depressed and upset' and developed an addiction to class A drugs, which was shared by Green following the loss of his job in 2020.

READ MORE: Man admits killing Beeston woman Ruth Hufton by tying scarf around her neck

The court heard how the pair used drugs together and would get involved in sexual activities. Evidence determined that Ms Hufton was killed when Green tied a scarf "tightly" twice around her neck, preventing her from breathing, in the morning of September 21, 2023.

Green then took her phone, which was never recovered, and left her in an "undignified" position. Mary Prior KC, prosecuting, said Ms Hufton "would have felt fear and terror until she lost consciousness".

She added: "We know that if he had removed the ligature, she could have lived. He did nothing to assist her and watched her die."

Her body was discovered after Ms Hufton's mother, Margaret, became increasingly concerned after not hearing from her and reported her missing. The body was found in an advanced state of decomposition.

Green is of slim build with short grey hair and a beard
Anthony Green was sentenced to 12 years in prison -Credit:Nottinghamshire Police

Statements from Ms Hufton's two older siblings, Helen and Neil, as well as her parents, Margaret and Jeffrey, were read in court during Thursday's hearing. The court was told Ms Hufton developed a love for languages in secondary school, where she learned French and German.

She then joined the Army as a linguist in the Royal Signals and learned Russian and Mandarin. She also got a sign language degree from the University of Wolverhampton.

Her sister told the court: "She was determined, motivated, beautiful, and intelligent. After finding out what happened, each time the police's phone number showed up on my phone, I felt dread as I was not prepared for what they had to say.

"We as a family will never recover. I feel sadness for my parents, my brother, and most importantly, I feel sadness for Ruth. Ruth, I stand here today proud to call you my sister. Please don't judge her regarding some of her life choices."

A statement read on behalf of Ms Hufton's brother added: "This callous and malicious individual is beyond redemption. It is hard to come to terms with why Ruth was killed and I have not been able to visit her grave. This was a cold and calculated murder."

The court heard how Ms Hufton's mother travelled to Beeston to meet Ruth on September 6 and had some drinks together. Ms Hufton then kissed her mother goodbye on a tram. That was the last time the pair saw each other.

A statement read in court on behalf of Ms Hufton's mother said: "She had a bright spark and it was clear she was going to make something of her life. Talking about her in the past tense feels surreal. When I last saw her on September 6, I think that was the day she had decided to change her life. Her life was cut so tragically short."

The court also heard a statement from Ms Hufton's father, who described how their relationship remained good following the parents' divorce when Ms Hufton was 13. Their contact reduced, however, during the pandemic.

Her father said: "Knowing what I know now, I would do anything to go back. I have 43 years of very happy memories with Ruth and I will cherish these forever. There are no words to describe the pain.

"I have a constant feeling of sickness. My life will never be the same again and I will spend the rest of it with so many unanswered questions. She is my little girl and she had so much more to give to this world. Ruth, I love you."

All the family members expressed their anger regarding Green's manslaughter plea. In a joint statement, they said: "To hear she had died in such awful circumstances was truly devastating and changed all our lives forever. Knowing we will never see her again is unbearable.

"No sentence passed today can make up for the pain we are feeling as a family. She will be deeply missed and will forever be in our hearts.

"As the court heard today, Ruth had been a happy woman whose life took a downward turn. Had it not been for Green’s actions, we are certain she would have turned her life around and fulfilled the enormous potential she had.

"She had so much more to give this world. Green’s callous and malicious actions in taking Ruth’s life and leaving her for several days – as well as stealing her possessions – makes him beyond redemption.

"Finally, we would like to thank Nottinghamshire Police for working tirelessly to find Ruth’s killer and to put him before the courts." The court was told Green has previous convictions relating to violence, with the last ones in 1999 and 1994, as well as other more recent drug-related offences.

James Horne KC, defending, said Green is "deeply regretful" and described how between 2005 and 2009, "he worked with support workers and remained clean for a decade. After losing his job in 2020, he returned to drug use. He did not intend to cause harm or worse and accepts the gravity of his actions."

Sentencing Green, Judge James Sampson, said: "The court's condolences go to the family. Nothing the court can do will right this devastating wrong. Sadly, Ruth became addicted to class-A drugs and occasionally engaged in sex work.

"You [Green] exploited her addiction to obtain sexual favours and, after killing her, you left her in an undignified position for no reason." The judge added that Green was "probably high on cocaine" at the time of the killing.

He said: "You were arrested but not before you went fishing with a friend - there's no remorse in that. You first gave a lying account to save your own skin. You will go to prison for 12 years."

Detective Inspector Kaz Smithson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Following Ruth’s tragic death, Green went no comment before providing a prepared statement denying any knowledge or involvement in her death.

“I am pleased he finally admitted his involvement. This would never have happened without the incredible work, assistance and perseverance of my investigation team."