A jury found Watford bin man Julian Felisi guilty of brutally murdering his colleague Gary Bennett this afternoon.

Felisi, of Whippendell Road, was sentenced to 22 years after the jury gave a unanimous verdict – though he has already served 221 days in custody.

The 38-year-old stood emotionless, only shaking his head, at St Albans Crown Court in front of a public gallery packed with the victim's family - many of whom wept as the verdict was delivered.

Judge Stephen Gullick, addressing Felisi said: “Why you killed Gary Bennett only you know. You lured him to that location and you took with you such weapon or implement as to inflict those injuries.

“He was a work colleague of yours and the circumstances of his death were ones of furious violence by blows to the back of his head.

“The weapon has never been recovered - only you know where it is. There are factors I must take into my judgement, including the viciousness and brutality of the attack in delivering blow after blow.”

Judge Gullick also thanked the jury for their assistance in what he described as a “nasty case”.

Gary Bennett, 46, of Little Oxhey Lane, was found dead with severe head injuries in Aldenham Country Park on Wednesday, February 24.

Teenage students made the grim discovery next to a disused kiosk, a few hundred yards in from the Dagger Lane entrance to the park, on their way to school at about 8.45am.

Earlier that morning at about 5.30am, Felisi had driven the pair to the scene, half an hour before they were due to start work at the Wiggenhall Road waste depot.

Mr Bennett received at least 13 blows to the back of his head with a heavy, blunt instrument, though a clear motive for the killing has never been revealed.

In a display of cold-blooded calmness, Felisi, from Whippendell Road, went to work as normal after the murder, concealing any indication of his actions that morning.

However, this afternoon, after exactly 14 hours of deliberation, the jury found the father-of -three guilty of murder.