HOOKER Emma Bate is facing life imprisonment for the murder of her "sugar daddy" -  former Stourbridge businessman Richard Sherratt.

A jury at Stafford crown court found her guilty by a unanimous verdict of killing a "kind and generous" man who had lavished her with gifts and money.

Mr Sherratt, 57, was found battered on his bed in his Bridgnorth flat having suffocated from his own blood. He had been tortured with knife jabs to his neck to reveal the PIN number of his bank cards.

Bate's boyfriend Paramjit Singh confessed to the crime at an early stage, but it took a 14-day trial to convict the 26-year-old prostitute and crack addict.

As the jury of six men and six woman delivered their verdict today (Thursday), Bate hung her head in her hands, but on her way back to the cells, she smirked at Mr Sherratt's daughter Jennie who was sitting by the side of the dock.

Speaking after the case concluded, Miss Sherratt said: "Clearly she has no remorse for it. It just shows what kind of character she is," said Miss Sherratt after the trial.

Her brother, Joe Sherratt added: "We feel justice has been served. No sentence will bring our dad back and take away the loss we feel. Our dad was a kind, generous and loving man who's been cruelly taken from us. He is greatly missed by all his family and friends."

Judge Simon Tonking adjourned the case until Friday March 1 so that Bate and Singh can be dealt with together.

The judge said: "I am bound to be sentencing both of these defendants to life imprisonment and set a minimum term to be served."

He asked for a pre-sentence report on Bate to be prepared and added: "May I express my gratitude to the way in which those most closely connected to the case have behaved with great restraint and dignity."

Bate, a hooker since the age of 14 and a drug addict before she was officially old enough to leave school, claimed she played no part in Mr Sherratt's killing on 14 June last year, heaping all the blame on her boyfriend.

But two crucial pieces of evidence probably convinced the jury she was guilty: she couldn't give a plausible explanation for the time she spent at Mr Sherratt's flat the night he died. And her assertion that she had used his bank card with his new PIN number at the Armani shop in Birmingham in May was shown to be a lie - there was no record of the transaction.

At the scene of the crime, Bate was heard to shout 'it's the wrong PIN'.

A co-accused, Michael Smith was initially charged alongside Bate and Singh with the murder, but Judge Simon Tonking dismissed that charge in a hearing before the case started.

Smith, aged 51, of Horton Street, Tipton did stand trial accused of robbery, the prosecution alleging he was the "getaway driver", but the jury cleared him of the charge.

Smith, one of Bate's clients, drove her and Singh to Bridgnorth and back to Birmingham, but he told the jury he was not aware of any plan to rob or hurt Mr Sherratt.

He said he genuinely believed that she was going to collect some money from a friend and needed a lift.

He added: "I didn't know that anything untoward was going to happen, certainly not a robbery and certainly not a murder - I would not have been part of that."