Violent man stabbed to death school friend 33 years after killing pal with pole


A violent man who fatally stabbed an old school friend at his home is facing life in jail after admitting her murder.

Marie Gladders, 51, suffered multiple stab wounds after being brutally attacked by Mark Masefield, 53, at his house in Stockland Green, Birmingham, on November 12 last year.

Masefield murdered Ms Gladders 33 years after he killed his best friend, Anthony Pryke, with a metal pole.

He kept Mr Pryke’s killing a secret for almost 25 years and was jailed in 2012 for 11-and-a-half years after admitting manslaughter.

In the murder of Ms Gladders, emergency services were called to Masefield’s home at around 8.25pm but the “beautiful” mum and grandmother was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Marie Gladders
Ms Gladders, 51, was remembered as a “beautiful” mum and grandmother

A post mortem examination revealed Ms Gladders, who had known her attacker since their school days, had been stabbed several times, BirminghamLive reported.

Masefield appeared before Birmingham Crown Court on Monday where he admitting murdering Ms Gladders, who lived in Chelmsley Wood, West Mids.

He was remanded in custody and will be jailed for life when he is sentenced on March 31.

Detective Inspector Stuart Mobberley, of West Midlands Police, said: “Masefield is a man with a long history of violence.

Police at a murder scene in Birmingham
Police at the murder scene in Birmingham in November last year

Anthony Pryke
Masefield killed his friend Anthony Pryke (pictured) with a scaffolding pole in 1987

“What happened to Marie was truly shocking and my thoughts remain with her family and friends at this very difficult time.

“I hope they can take some comfort from the fact he will now spend many years in prison for what he did.”

At the time, Ms Gladders’ heartbroken family paid tribute and said: “We are beyond devastated and heartbroken over the tragic loss of our beautiful mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, partner and friend.

“To lose her in such a cruel way is deeply saddening, and we pray that justice is served for her.

“We hope that she is at peace now.

“Sleep tight mom until we meet you again, we love you to infinity.”

In January 2012, Masefield was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison for killing his best friend, Mr Pryke, with a scaffolding pole.

Mark Masefield
Masefield is pictured in 2012 when he admitted the manslaughter of Mr Pryke

Anthony Pryke's home in Chelmsley Wood
Anthony, 17, was killed at his family’s home in Chelmsley Wood

Mr Pryke, 17, was found dead in a sewerage drain on December 21, 1987, four months after his family reported him missing n Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham.

Masefield, then 19, struck Mr Pryke with a metal pole after the pair got into a drunken row at Anthony’s home in August 1987,and claimed it was self-defence.

Masefield then shoved his friend’s body head-first into the drain and kept his crime a secret for 24 years until he confessed to a friend and police in 2011.

The killer admitted manslaughter.

He was originally accused of murder, which he denied.

That charge was not pursued by the prosecution.

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