Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or upload here
S&M sex killer jailed for 10 years
A former high-flying civil servant has been jailed for 10 years for killing a man during a drug-fuelled sado-masochistic sex session.
Ex-government vet Kirk Thompson, 46, who played a major role in the response to the bird flu outbreak while he worked at the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, then left the body under a duvet and later engaged in sex with another man.
During the violent session, which was set-up on the internet and lasted several hours, he burnt and cut David Kochs, 43, and caused severe internal injuries.
He made the cuts using surgical equipment he had acquired from his veterinary background.
Newcastle Crown Court heard both men had taken crystal meth when he engaged in the sexual violence at Oxford-educated Thompson's flat in the suburb of Jesmond in March last year.
The jury found him guilty of the manslaughter and a charge of actual bodily harm yesterday.
Mr Justice Globe sentenced him to 10 years, with a five year extended licence period.
He said: "What you did to David Kochs was unusual, exceptional and undoubtedly dangerous and unlawful."
The jury was told the defendant enjoyed inflicting pain, and boasted on the internet later about the extreme activity he had indulged in.
At some point during the evening, Thompson, a former altar boy who was voted head of Ormskirk Grammar School, became aware that Mr Kochs was either dead or unconscious, and he covered him with a duvet on the floor of his living room.
After Mr Kochs collapsed, Thompson boasted online: "I'm having such an extreme night.
"I don't believe what I'm doing."
He then had sex with another man he had been in contact with online as the body of Mr Kochs lay in the flat.
The next morning, after the second man had left, Mr Thompson messaged his father and said: "Can you come down immediately, something tragic has happened, just you not Mum please ASAP."
On arriving at the flat, his father quickly dialled 999 and paramedics and the police arrived at the scene.
After arresting him, Thompson told police the men had engaged in "extreme no limits anything goes sex" but he believed Mr Kochs had been asleep and that was why he covered him with the duvet.
The jury had heard Thompson probably contracted HIV in the third year of his veterinary medicine degree at Edinburgh University, when he was around 22, but did not take a test for another 10 years, as there was no cure at the time.
In the meantime, he studied in the US, graduated from Edinburgh, won a scholarship to Oxford and also worked part-time at a local vets in the city.
He eventually moved to Defra, based in Whitehall, and during the 2004/05 bird flu scare worked on guidelines on how to deal with the threat.
But he left the department after suffering from a mental breakdown brought on by his long-term illness.