A MAN has been cleared of killing his ex-partner and burying her body in a Walthamstow allotment.

Sinclair Lewis, 54, always denied murdering mother-of-one Julie Dorsett, 33, whose skull and upper body were discovered at Low Hall Farm Allotments in Bridge Road back in August 2008.

The former sex worker, who lived in Hackney, was reported missing in 2002 and it is thought her remains were dumped at the site soon after.

Mr Lewis, of no fixed abode, was tried twice for the killing at the Old Bailey after the first jury were unable to agree on a verdict during a trial earlier this year.

The judge ordered jurors to dismiss the murder accusation and reach a decision on a manslaughter charge instead.

On Wednesday (July 25) jurors found him not guilty of manslaughter and preventing the lawful burial of a body.

Jurors heard how an undercover policeman spent six months befriending Mr Lewis in a failed attempt to get him to confess to the killing.

The officer moved in next door to the suspect's home in Peterborough in November 2009 and made friends with him.

In February the undercover cop even moved in with him, but the officer did not get any evidence to convince the jury despite secretly taping all their conversations.

Jonathan Rees, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey that police were suspicious because of Mr Lewis's alleged violence against Ms Dorsett.

He said: "There is a substantial amount of evidence that this was an abusive relationship and the defendant used to beat Julie.

"She was always sporting bruises and although she said she was going to leave him she never did.”

Mr Lewis was first arrested by police in Teignmouth, Devon in May 2011 and had until yesterday been in custody ever since.

A post mortem in September 2008 failed to find a cause of death and police initially were unable to charge anyone in connection with the killing. 

In March 2009 the Met offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of her killer or killers.

Ms Dorsett used to visit the allotment and was known by some residents in the area.

Her body was discovered buried in earth by gardener Charles Joseph.

Mr Lewis previously owned the same allotment plot and used it to grow cannabis, it was claimed in court.

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Twitter

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Facebook