Sex offender, 34, admits murdering man, 66, who showed off plans for futuristic floating home on Channel 4 show and was found strangled in park
- Tommy Scott, 34, admitted murdering Gerald Pragnell, 64 in Southampton
- Mr Pragnell was last seen leaving work at Southampton airport on November 1
- Police recovered his body from Southampton Common on November 3
- Scott will be sentenced for murder at Winchester Crown Court on February 14
Registered sex offender Tommy Scott, 34, admitted murdering 66-year-old Gerald Pragnell in Southampton Common in November 2018
A 34-year-old registered sex offender today admitted murdering a 66-year-old who starred in a Channel 4 show after he was found strangled in a city park.
Tommy Scott brutally attacked airport worker Gerald Pragnell and dumped his body in a wooded area 200 yards from a Grade II-listed 19th Century church.
Mr Pragnell was last seen on November 1 last year when he left work at Southampton Airport, Hampshire, at 6.30am in his £35,000 silver Mercedes GLA.
Tragically the ‘loving father and granddad’ was found strangled on Southampton Common on November 3, having been reported missing the day before.
Today Scott appeared via a video link at Winchester Crown Court, Hampshire, and admitted murdering Mr Pragnell, who featured on Channel 4’s ‘My Floating Home’ showing off plans for a futuristic fibreglass home designed by his son.
Scott faces life in prison and will be sentenced next month – however the sex offender asked Judge Keith Cutler if he could just be dealt with by video link rather than turn up to court.
Judge Cutler refused the request made by Scott, who was wearing a grey t-shirt, and remanded him into custody until February 14.
Prosecutor Simon Jones said he would be appealing to the judge to jail him for life with a minimum of 30 years behind bars.
Three devastated members of Mr Pragnell’s family are expected to give victim impact statements at the hearing.
After his murder Mr Pragnell’s family said: ‘Dad was a loving father, grandad, partner, brother and uncle.
Gerald Pragnell, right, pictured with his son Aidan, left, worked at Southampton Airport
Mr Pragnell, pictured, worked at the airport for 11 years where he was described as ‘a well-respected and long-standing member of the team’
‘He was a genuine, hard-working and caring family man who was adored by all who knew him.
‘He was a natural joker who lit up the room with his mischievous sense of humour.
‘We have so many stories and memories that will always remain with us and he will always be hugely missed by us all.
‘Dad was taken from us much too soon and we’re devastated that he won’t be part of our future.’
A statement issued by airport staff, who worked with Mr Pragnell for 11 years, said: ‘We are tremendously saddened by the death of Gerald Pragnell.
‘He was employed by APCOA Parking, one of our business partners, as night customer services advisor and was a valued member of the airport family.
‘Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this extremely sad and difficult time.’
An APCOA spokesman added: ‘Gerald was a well-respected and long-standing member of the team.
‘He will be much missed by colleagues and we are deeply saddened by his death. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family.’
Mr Pragnell lived in a houseboat near his son’s boat building business in Southampton.