A FORMER Tean resident is today behind bars in a Turkish jail for murdering his glamorous Russian wife after he discovered she used to be a man.
Chris Collier, who used to live in Vicarage Crescent, was jailed for 24 years for the murder of 35- year-old Julia at their Kusadasi home on the Aegean coast of Turkey.
It is believed the 40-year-old killed his wife by knocking her unconscious with a hard object and then smothering her.
Collier, who emigrated in the late 1990s, was arrested the day after his wife’s death on Saturday, November 27, 2010, and was found guilty following a trial.
Detectives probed the couple’s relationship after Mrs Collier’s death amid claims the former mobile phone salesman ‘brought’ his bride on the internet and she had undergone a sex change.
Postings on an internet forum used by British expats, claiming to be from Collier, said: “I paid for my wife and then moved to Kusadasi in my rented apartment.” It added that the woman ‘used to be a bloke’.
Collier ran an estate agency in Turkey and Mrs Collier worked as a lounge singer in hotel bars.
A friend of the killer’s, who asked not to be named, told news agencies the couple had been together ‘for a number of years’ and had no children.
He said Collier had moved to Turkey more than 10 years ago to make a new start and Julia, ‘who was the nicest girl you would ever meet’, was a singer who used to perform at the Korumar Hotel in Kusadasi.
The friend said he was shocked when he heard the news from a mutual friend.
Collier, who was a key figure in the Phones4U empire, is a former employee of Caudwell Communications where he was one of the first salesmen employed by John Caudwell when he was setting up the mobile phone business.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We are aware that a British national was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment in Turkey on August 6.
“We will continue to provide consular assistance to him and his family here in the UK.”