Hotel murder link to alleged dealer

Darren Ellis
Darren Ellis

The man who murdered a mum in a Kempston hotel room was allegedly a major drug dealer who had just finished a three-year prison sentence.

Darren Ellis, 35, ran a sophisticated drugs ring from his home and was described in court as a “prime mover” in a conspiracy to distribute drugs throughout the country.

His body was found on a railway track shortly after Milton Keynes letting agent Serena Hickey was discovered beaten and strangled in the Premier Inn hotel room in Kempston on Saturday morning.

It is believed she and Mr Ellis, who lived in Nuneaton, were in a relationship and had booked in at the hotel together the previous evening.

Police are treating the deaths as murder and suicide.

Within three days of the tragedy Serena’s actor brother Zane set up a charity in her memory to help victims of domestic abuse.

He said: “We must unite to make sure this tragedy is never allowed to happen again.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to protect my sister but let me protect yours.”

Zane,who was a member of the popular Dreamboys male stripper group, wrote on Facebook:

“My beautiful sister was beaten and strangled to death by a jealous and obsessed guy.... Domestic violence is NEVER ok.”

He added: “If he or she hits you even once is too much because the next time could be your life.”

Tragically, Serena’s last message on Facebook was to her teenage son Lyle.

She wrote last Friday, the same day she booked into the Premier Inn: “Missing my baby today, Lyle Orange. Love my boy.”

The divorcee, who was in her early 40s, worked at Oakhill Lettings, where her colleagues described her as “an immensely popular member of staff.”

“She made a big impression on us all and she will be sincerely missed,” said a spokesman.