Sunday, 30 October 2011

VINCENT TABAK




On Friday the 28th October 2011, at Bristol Crown Court, Vincent Tabak was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his neighbour Joanna Yeates. The judge has ordered that he must spend at least 20 years in prison.

Mr Justice Field said Tabak, who was flanked by six security guards in the dock, was guilty of an evil and wicked act and is a "very dangerous" individual.

Yeates's parents were not in court to hear the verdict but her boyfriend Greg Reardon stared at Tabak, visibly shaken and close to tears as he was led from the dock. In a statement from her parents read out by police outside court, they said: "It is a regret that capital punishment is not an option."

The Dutch engineer strangled 25-year-old Yeates at her flat in Bristol before bundling her body into the boot of his car and dumping it on a snowy roadside verge.

During his trial the prosecution claimed that Tabak, 33, was motivated by sex when he attacked Yeates at her home on 17 December 2010.

It suggested he may have spied on the landscape architect and claimed that an important feature of the case was that when her body was found on Christmas morning, her top had been pulled above her bra and part of one breast was exposed. His DNA was found on Yeates's chest.


The jury did not hear during the trial that when police delved into Tabak's computers after his arrest they discovered an interest in hardcore pornography, some of which featured strangulation and bondage.

He accessed a portal to a pornographic site on the day he killed Yeates. Following the killing he sometimes navigated between reports about her disappearance and pornography.


Police were particularly interested in an image on one of his computers showing a slight blonde woman, resembling Yeates, with her pink top pulled up.

Police analysts also found that during business trips Tabak researched escort agencies. While in Los Angeles shortly before his attack on Yeates, police believe, he may have twice used the services of a sex worker, once after checking into a hotel under a false name.


The judge, Mr Justice Field, ruled that the value of the evidence in explaining why Tabak acted as he did could not outweigh the prejudice it would cause his defence.


After Tabak appeared in the witness box and portrayed himself as a loving man devoted to his girlfriend, Tanja Morson, the prosecution argued that the jury ought to be told about the evidence relating to escort girls. The judge disagreed and the jury did not hear the evidence.

After the verdict, the judge told Tabak, "In my view you are very dangerous. In my opinion you are thoroughly deceitful, dishonest and manipulative.

"When you entered her flat on the evening of 17 December last year you did not even know her name and had virtually nothing to do with her.


"You proceeded to strangle her, intending, in my judgment, to kill her.


"A dreadful, evil act committed against a vulnerable unsuspecting young woman in her own home.


"That wicked act ended the life of a young woman who was entitled to expect a life of happiness and fulfilment."


Speaking outside the family home in Ampfield, near Romsey, Hampshire, Yeates's parents, David and Theresa, said in a statement: "We are not elated. We always knew that he was guilty, whatever the jury decided. We are, however, relieved with the murder verdict because we do not know how we would have reacted if they had come back with manslaughter.


"We are feeling mixed emotions, but we don't really have any anger. Tabak has shown no remorse – in court he made noises, but there was nothing there.


"After Jo died we tried to put our lives back together. The trial was something we had to go through and now we've got to try and get back to life before that.

"It hasn't changed anything. Jo is still dead."


Tabak may face further police questioning about some of the material found on his computer.


During the trial Tabak claimed Yeates invited him into her Clifton flat and he made a pass at her when she made a "flirtatious" remark to him.


He said she screamed when he attempted to kiss her and he put one hand over her mouth and another around her throat to "calm" her. Tabak claims he gripped her for about 20 seconds before she fell lifeless to the floor.


Neither the prosecution nor those close to Yeates believed she flirted with him. Nor did they believe Tabak's claim that she did not struggle when he held her by the neck.

The judge said there were no mitigating features in the case – only aggravating factors – and he proceeded to outline them. "There is a sexual element to the killing of Joanna Yeates," the judge said.

"On your own evidence, after an acquaintanceship of only a few minutes, you moved to kiss Joanna and I am quite satisfied that you did not intend to stop there and intended to go much further.

"It was only because of her loud and gestured screams that your sexual purpose was frustrated."


As he sent the jury away to consider its verdict, the judge said the central point to consider was whether Tabak had intended to kill or seriously harm Yeates. If the jurors were sure of that, they would return a verdict of guilty.


Tabak had admitted manslaughter but denied murder.
Please visit my True Crime website for more stories...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

ALAN COOPER





A 'highly dangerous' man who stabbed his teenage nephew to death in a petty argument over a mobile phone was jailed for life on the 23rd September 2011.

Alan Cooper killed 14-year-old Jordan in front of the schoolboy's grandmother - his own mother - at her home in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

Cooper and Jordan were living with Susan Smith at her house in Newriggs when the argument broke out.



They rowed after Jordan used the 32-year-old's phone to contact a girlfriend on Facebook and Cooper joked that he would contact the girl later.


Mrs Smith defused the tension and she and her grandson went to watch television her room.


As they sat in the dark, her son burst in and attacked Jordan, then continuing the brutality outside the room.


Mrs Smith called the police and said: 'My son is killing my grandson.'


When paramedics arrived, the injured boy said to them: 'I'm going to die aren't I?'


Judge Milford said the paramedic had made a statement explaining the particular impact the murder had on him.

Cooper admitted killing Jordan but claimed he had suffered an abnormality of mind which diminished his responsibility.

A jury at Newcastle Crown Court convicted Cooper of murder by a majority, before judge John Milford jailed him for life.


The judge said he was a 'highly dangerous' man and would have to serve at least 22 years before being considered for parole.

The court had heard that Cooper had a history of violence towards family members when drunk and multiple convictions for violence, arson, dishonesty and car crimes. In one attack, he attempted to gouge out his father's eyes.


'Highly dangerous': Alan Cooper, 32, has a string of previous convictions for drunken violence towards family members.


Cooper killed Jordan while on bail for a horrific attack on his girlfriend in which she was forced to crawl naked to a neighbour's home for help.

He left her with a perforated duodenum which had to be repaired surgically, causing scars which meant 'she could never again wear a bikini'.


Mitigating, Alastair MacDonald QC said Cooper had an 'excellent relationship' with Jordan before the attack.

He said: 'He is a man who tried desperately to battle against his anger but failed.


We have suffered an unbearable loss. I cannot adequately describe the gaping hole his death has left in our lives or the despair that we feel - Susan Smith

'He has now lost every tie with his family. He has not been visited in prison at all, for obvious reasons.


'He is now deprived of even the basic succour of a family when he is going to serve what will inevitably be a long sentence.'


But Judge Milford told Cooper: 'You have been a bully since you were a small child and given to losing your temper and using violence, which is more likely when you have taken drink.

'You took the decision to kill Jordan, which you did not repent. You take no responsibility for your actions.'


Cooper remained expressionless as he was taken down.


Mrs Smith said: 'We have suffered an unbearable loss. I cannot adequately describe the gaping hole his death has left in our lives or the despair that we feel.'

Detective Inspector Gareth Craig, who led the investigation, said: 'Alan Cooper's actions led to the tragic death of a boy who had his whole future ahead of him.

'The loss of Jordan has been felt by not just his family but his friends and people he went to school with.


'I'd like to thank Jordan's family for their assistance during this investigation and the dignity they've shown despite difficult circumstances, something which has been recognised and praised by the judge in court.

'I hope they can eventually move on from what has been a horrific ordeal.'


A statement on behalf of Jordan's family read: 'This is not a victory for us. There are no winners out of this trial. It doesn't change anything. We have to live with our pain every day and the knowledge that we will never have Jordan back.


'The jury came to the right decision and we are grateful to them for that.

 

'Justice has been done and now we have to try to rebuild our lives without Jordan.

 

'We would like to say that we conducted ourselves with Jordan in mind.




Sunday, 16 October 2011

JOSHUA DAVIES




Joshua Davies, 16, was jailed for life on the 2nd September 2011 at Swansea Crown Court, for battering 15-year-old Rebecca Alyward to death with a rock and was told he would spend at least 14 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.


Davies was found guilty of luring Rebecca into woods near their homes. He tried to frame a friend over the killing and his barrister, Peter Rouch QC, told the court that he still insisted that he was not involved.

Mr Rouch said: "Although all murders are senseless, you can usually derive a reason or motive for the killing.

"In this case it is difficult to reason why it was that Rebecca came to be killed. All that we can say is that what happened in the forest that day had a terrible and ruinous effect."
The court was told that psychiatrists who had spoken to Davies found no condition that might explain his brutal attack. It heard that Davies had been a well-liked boy with no history of violence.


But the judge Mr Justice Lloyd Jones told Davies that he had a "deep-seated hatred towards Rebecca which eventually led you to kill her".


He said the teenagers had separated a year earlier with "bitterness" on both sides. He called Davies "devious, calculating and controlling".


Addressing Rebecca's family, the judge accepted that no sentence could make up for a lost life. Rebecca's killing was a huge shock in Maesteg, her home town, and the village of Aberkenfig, where the killing took place and where Davies lived.

The jury heard that Davies and Rebecca had known each other for some years and dated for three months.

After they parted, Davies began to talk about killing Rebecca, telling friends he would find a way of murdering her and getting away with it. He spoke of making a poison out of plants such as deadly nightshade.

Davies once asked his friends what they would give him if he carried out the killing. They say they did not take him seriously and promised to buy him breakfast if he did it.

On 23 October 2010 Davies and Rebecca arranged to meet in woods at Aberkenfig, a popular hangout for teenagers.
Rebecca wore an outfit she had bought the day before, possibly believing they were going to get back together. Before he left for the woods Davies smiled at one of his friends and told him: "The time has come."

After the attack, when a friend phoned him in the woods to ask him if he was with Rebecca, Davies coolly asked him to define what he meant by "with".

He later boasted to friends that he had attacked Rebecca, who was slightly built, from behind. She was screaming and the worst thing, he said, was seeing her skull give way. The rock he used to batter her was so heavy that in court during the trial an official struggled to pick it up with one hand.


Following the murder, Davies summoned a friend to the woods. The boy described in court how he "glimpsed" Rebecca's body lying face down, her arms splayed out. Davies was a "bit shaky" but "didn't seem upset at what he'd done".

The alarm was raised and a search was launched after Rebecca failed to return home.

Meanwhile, Davies updated his Facebook page to say he was "chilling" with friends. He had a cup of tea and watched Strictly Come Dancing and the film No Country for Old Men.
During the search for Rebecca he sent a text asking her to get in touch: "We're all worried," he wrote.

Rebecca's body was found in the woods the next day.

JONATHAN VASS








A man who stabbed his ex-partner to death while on bail charged with raping her has been given a life sentence of imprisonment at Preston Crown Court in October 2010.

Ambulance technician and former bouncer Jonathan Vass, 30, was given a minimum 30-year term for the murder of nurse Jane Clough, 26, the mother of his baby daughter.

He had been due to stand trial on nine rape charges and murdered her to stop her giving evidence against him.

Judge Anthony Russell QC handed down a mandatory life sentence before telling Vass, that he would not be eligible for release until 2040.

Jane Clough was found with multiple stab wounds outside Blackpool Victoria hospital on Sunday 25 July 2010. She died after being taken to the accident and emergency department where she worked.

Her parents and family wept and hugged each other as the court heard for the first time that after stabbing and slashing her with a 7.6cm blade Vass walked away momentarily, then went back to slit her throat.

"As she lay bleeding you walked away but then returned and slowly, deliberately and cold-bloodedly slit her throat," Judge Russell said as he passed sentence.It is difficult to imagine a more horrific crime

than this murder. Furthermore it was a crime motivated by real hatred and revenge.

"This was a deliberate, brutal and callous murder for which you have shown no remorse and no care for your own daughter.

"Jane Clough was a nurse who devoted her life to the care of others. She had the misfortune to become involved with you.

"She bore your child and then you murdered her, leaving your infant child without a mother and with the prospect of growing up to learn one day that her father murdered her mother."

The court heard that Clough had kept a diary detailing her abuse and fears of Vass and what he might do. She and her family had been "rocked and devastated" when he was bailed on the rape charges, leaving her "extremely concerned for her safety".

She left home to live with her parents and recorded in her diary that she was worried "Johnny was going to do something stupid".

Another entry read of fears he would "get his revenge", adding: "What's he going to do?"

Dennis Watson QC, prosecuting, said it was clear the motive for the murder was to prevent Clough giving evidence.

Watson said the couple had met while both working at the hospital but their relationship was troubled because of Vass. "He was a jealous man who wished to dominate and have complete control over Jane despite the fact that, unknown to her, he was carrying on a relationship with two other women at the same time,"

In November that year she reported him to police, complaining to officers of months of physical and sexual abuse and repeated rapes that continued when she was heavily pregnant.

Text messages between the pair were read out. She sent him a message saying: "You have hurt, raped and reduced me to tears on countless occasions ... and you want to get engaged and have more kids? Why?"
He replied: "We are staying together regardless of our problems."

Another said: "You physically and sexually abuse me. You threatened to kill me the other night."

Among Vass's replies was: "Please can I come home ... best behaviour promise."

He was charged with nine rapes and assault in November 2009 and told a work colleague, a former boyfriend of Jane Clough, that if he was found guilty he would kill her. The friend dismissed the threat as bravado.

When it became clear she was prepared to give evidence in court Vass decided to act, the court heard.

Detective Superintendent Neil Esseen, who led the inquiry, said: "There is no doubt in my mind that he committed this brutal murder to prevent this brave young woman from having her day in court. Clough was a new mum who had everything to live for. She enjoyed her job at the hospital and had many friends there, but she was cruelly taken away from those who loved her by Jonathan Vass in the most violent of circumstances."











Monday, 3 October 2011

PHILIP SMITH


9th November 2000,The smouldering body of Jodie Hyde aged 21, was found near an adventure play area in Birmingham. Jodie was a drug addict who had made friends with Smith in the Rainbow pub in Digbeth, Birmingham. He then took her back to his flat.


After he killed her, her naked body was put into the back of Smith's Volvo car and driven to open land at Ackers Trust, an adventure play area in Birmingham.

He wrapped the body in a blanket and bound with a green rope.
Her body had received 60% burns and had to be identified by her fingerprints.
A post-mortem examination showed she had been strangled before being rolled up in a carpet and set on fire.

12th November 2000,  Smith then battered to death Rosemary Corcoran aged 25, and Carol Jordan aged 39. 

Smith had beaten Miss Corcoran with such force that she was physically unrecognisable
.
Identification of her body was only possible through fingerprints and dental records after her jaw was put back together.


 
Her body was discovered in a lane close to the Robin Hood pub at Rashwood, near Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire.
 
20 miles away in Lea Bank, Birmingham, a dog walker found the battered body of mother-of-six Rosemary Jordan in parkland.


                                  Victims' clothes were found in Smith's bath


Mrs Jordan had been knocked down by Smith as she walked to work. She had been badly beaten and had to be identified through her dental records.

Hours before Ms Corcoran's body was found, Smith was caught on CCTV violently struggling with her outside a club in Handsworth.
 
A few hours later, a pensioner said they saw a man fitting Smith's description, with bloodstained clothing, filling a petrol can in Bromsgrove, a neighbouring town to Droitwich.

Experts from the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham analysed a massive amount of evidence in this case, the results linked Smith to each victim.


Wednesday 18th July, 2001, Originally denying all charges, halfway through  his trial at Leicester Crown Court, Smith changed his plea to guilty. Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum 25 years.

After Smith, was jailed, West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Ellie Baker said: "Philip Smith is already a triple killer and we would be wrong to leave it at that, we need to search further."

Investigations will go back 20 years across several forces but at present, detectives say he is not being positively linked with any unsolved crimes at this time.

ADRIAN PROUT



A Gloucestershire landowner has been ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison for murdering his wife.

Adrian Prout, 47, was found guilty on Friday 5th February 2010, of murdering Kate Prout, 55. Her body has never been found.

His trial at Bristol Crown Court was told that before her disappearance she had asked her husband for a divorce.

Mrs Prout's brother Richard Wakefield, has urged Prout, of Redmarley, to reveal where he hid her body.

Sentencing Prout to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years, Mr Justice Nigel Davis said:

"One of the pieces of evidence that sticks in my mind is that Kate Prout used to remember her parents by placing flowers on their grave.

"I expect her family would like to place flowers on her grave but they can't, and they can't because of you."

He continued: "It was said on your behalf that there was some sort of stress or a degree of provocation. I couldn't accept even that.

"The truth is you allowed your temper to erupt and it was your anger that killed her.

"How you killed her is only known to you. You most probably did it by strangling her."

We will continue to appeal to Prout to give Kate's family the chance to say a proper goodbye by revealing where her body is.
Det Supt Neil Kelly, Gloucestershire Police

The last time anyone heard from Mrs Prout was 1529 GMT on 5 November, when she called her bank.

Since then no agencies have had any contact with her, including banks and passport agencies, and a prolonged police hunt has failed to find a trace.

Defending counsel Elizabeth Marsh said a "prolonged period of stress" could be considered as a mitigating factor.

Miss Marsh said there had been several events leading up to Mrs Prout's disappearance, in particular 27 October 2007, when she drunkenly abused Prout in front of friends at the local pub.

The three-week long trial had heard that Mrs Prout had demanded an £800,000 divorce settlement from her husband.

This would have meant he would have had to sell the £1.2m farmhouse, near Gloucester.

Prout ran a pipe-laying business and a pheasant shoot from the property, Redhill Farm.

Kate Prout
Kate Prout disappeared from her home in November 2007

Speaking after the case, Mrs Prout's brother Richard Wakefield said: "Nothing will bring Kate back to us, but we are pleased that justice has been done.

"We would, however, appeal to Adrian to tell us what happened to Kate and where she is because we would like to lay her to rest and say our goodbyes."

Det Supt Neil Kelly, of Gloucestershire Police said: "We will continue to appeal to Prout to give Kate's family the chance to say a proper goodbye by revealing where her body is."

Prout, who has become a father with another partner since Mrs Prout's disappearance, is thought to have strangled her and then used his expertise as a professional pipe-layer to bury her body.

Prout Confesses to the murder here

Adrian Prout shows police where body is buried here

Watch killer Adrian Prout's police interview here.

SCOTT HANCOX & AMANDA ALLDEN


A drug dealer and his lover have been jailed for life for murdering a boy and dumping his body in a recycling bin.

Scott Hancox, 35, and Amanda Allden, 29, were found guilty at Worcester Crown Court in May 2009, of killing 17-year-old Nathan Lyons, of Birmingham.

Nathan's body was found on 13 May at a recycling depot in south-east London.


Drug dealer Hancox, of Fownhope Close, Redditch, and Allden, of Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove, were given minimum tariffs of 17 and Allden 15 years respectively.

They also received concurrent sentences of three years and three-and-a-half years after admitting perverting the course of justice.

'Viciously attacked'

Their trial was told Nathan had been employed by a Birmingham gang to mind to drugs that had been sent to Hancox.

Nathan Lyons
Nathan Lyons' body was found in a waste depot in London

The prosecution said he was murdered in Hancox's flat on either 30 April or 1 May after it is thought he refused to hand over drugs to the defendants.

Both lovers had blamed each other for the murder but they were both found guilty by a jury on Tuesday.


Mr Justice Penry-Davey said Hancox had "viciously attacked" Nathan Lyons with a wooden club and had been encouraged by Allden.


He said both were "driven by the need for more and more drugs".


Nathan's body was then dumped by the pair in a rubbish bin and his body was found after travelling more than 150 miles through the recycling system to Craydord, in south-east London.

In a statement, Nathan's aunt Jacky Lyons said: "Nathan was one of 11 children and, because of other people's greed and addiction to class A drugs, our Nathan was brutally murdered.

"His death has devastated our family and our lives will never be the same again.

"We cannot find the words to express the pain we feel.

"In his short life he brought so much joy to everyone who knew him and he will never be forgotten."

Det Ch Insp Dave Morgan, of West Mercia Police, said: "They (the defendants) chose a life of crime and would literally go to any length to deal drugs so they could feed their habit.

"They were responsible for this horrific and frenzied attack which resulted in the brutal murder of Nathan Lyons and most people will feel their callous behaviour simply beggars belief."

ANDREW DAWSON




A convicted murderer who branded himself the 'Angel of Mercy' after butchering two of his neighbours thought other serial killers were 'wimps'.

Andrew Dawson was sentenced to a term of whole-life imprisonment on 20th July 2011, for stabbing defenceless John Matthews and Paul Hancock to death in separate attacks, before leaving their bodies in their bathtubs.

The 48-year-old told police he felt an 'urge to kill' before knocking on the men's doors in the block of flats in Chaddesden, Derby, where they lived, and launching frenzied assaults on them.

Dawson, who has already served one life sentence for a murder he committed in 1981, wrote a rambling note to police confessing to one of the killings which he signed: 'Yours, the Angel of Mercy'.

His brother has called him a 'psycho', claiming it is 'only a matter of time' before he kills a fellow inmate while serving his jail term.

Malcolm Dawson, 51, said: 'They should have left him in there the first time.

'When they said life they should have meant it and kept him in for life. I was best man at his wedding but I would never turn my back on him for a second.

'I know what he is like - he has no conscience. He was always talking about The Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, and all these other murderers, saying they were wimps.

'I think he will take himself out or he will try and do one of the other inmates - he is pure evil, a total psycho.

Murder scene: Dawson savagely attacked John Matthews and Paul Hancock in the block of flats that they shared with him, pictured

The remains of kitchen porter Mr Matthews, 66, were discovered by police officers on 25th July 2010, after he was reported missing by concerned relatives and work colleagues.

Five days later, 58-year-old Mr Hancock, who lived on the floor above Dawson and Mr Matthews in the block of flats, was also found dead.


THE RAMBLING NOTE DAWSON SENT TO POLICE

'to head of homicide
I wAnt to confess to a Murder
I stabbed a man to death
A man lies in a bath of wAteroweverH
2 mAjor wounds to his left side

1 Maybe two too his chest
ONE To his BACK ---- ONE
to his the base of his
neck

This is NO HOAX
IF U Don't find him
In a week I will
Give you his ADDRe(s)(s)

The Pink Rose WAS
nice Touch
YOURS
(TH)e Angel (OF) MERCY

Both had suffered terrible injuries, with Mr Matthews receiving at least 18 stab wounds to the face, neck and head, and Mr Hancock at least 22, to the head, chest and body.

After killing Mr Matthews, Dawson had carefully cleaned the flat in a bid to remove any evidence linking him to the crime - although he did leave a pink rose at the scene.


But before stabbing his second victim, two weeks later, he donned waterproof clothing and rubber gloves in an attempt to avoid leaving any clues behind.


Nottingham Crown Court heard Dawson had already served a life sentence for another murder, committed in 1981, before being released in 1999.

He denied murdering Mr Matthews and Mr Hancock on the grounds of diminished responsibility - but suddenly changed his plea on the first day of his trial.

He was given a whole-life jail term by judge Mrs Justice Dobbs, who said Dawson's victims had 'done nothing to upset him'.

Dawson was arrested in Whitehaven, Cumbria - more than 200 miles from the scene of the killings, in Chaddesden, Derby. Police officers found him with camping gear, and a number of kitchen knives.

Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Paul Callum, of Derbys Police, said: 'We are satisfied that Dawson will never be released. He is a very evil individual, and these were planned, and horrific, offences.'



NATHAN MANN


A teenager burglar who killed two patients after breaking into a nursing home was jailed for life in July 2008, with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 24 years and three months. Nathan Mann was just 19 when he carried out his horrific attack on Rashmi Badiani and Radhaben Chauhan after getting into the ground-floor room they shared through a window.

Both were bed-bound and helpless to resist Mann as he beat 56-year-old Mrs Badiani to death and smothered Mrs Chauhan, 72, with her bedclothes.

Mann admitted being in the two friends' room at the Hayes Park Nursing Home, Leicester, in November 2007, but has refused to say why he killed them.

At Nottingham Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to the murders, his counsel denied suggestions of a sexual motive

Police revealed a member of staff who was carrying out a routine early-morning check discovered the pair’s bodies just before 4am on November 7 2007, and believe Mann killed them after sneaking into their ground-floor room through an insecure window at around 11.30pm the night before.





                                         Mrs Chauhan, was beaten to death.



                                                 Mrs Badiani smothered


Det Insp Mark Harrison, of Leicestershire police, who led the investigation, said officers would probably never know why Mann turned to murder.

He said the killer had admitted entering the women’s room with the intention of stealing something but had said nothing about what else happened.

Mr Harrison said: ‘Mrs Badiani suffered severe head injuries. No weapon was found, and we were left to deduce that he used his own hands.


‘Mrs Chauhan was smothered with her own bedclothes, which we assume included her pillow.

‘The level of violence against two bed-bound women, both of whom needed constant medical care, is an indication of extreme cowardice.

‘You have to ask why it was necessary to take these two lives and leave their families utterly devastated. There was little of value to steal.’

Detectives were never able to establish whether Mann, who was arrested the day after the killings, actually stole anything from the home.

During legal argument before Mann’s guilty pleas Timothy Spencer QC, prosecuting, suggested there may have been a sexual motive.

He said: ‘Whatever might have been going on in his head, the facts indicate that sexual conduct had taken place in both of these killings.’

But Paul Mann QC, defending, said: ‘We accept the ladies concerned were partially undressed, but he has no recollection of how that came to be.’

The judge ordered medical reports to be carried out on Mann, of Avonside Drive, Crown Hills, Leicester, who admitted two charges of murder.

After the hearing Det Ch Insp Phil Smith described the killer, who has previous convictions for burglary, as ‘a violent and dangerous individual’.

He said: ‘Nathan Mann took the lives of two defenceless and vulnerable women in an unprovoked and cowardly attack as they lay in their beds.

‘This was an horrific incident that devastated two families. I hope that once the sentence is handed out they will be able to begin to rebuild their lives.’

Speaking on behalf of her family, Dilip Popat, Mrs Badiani’s brother-in-law, said Mann deserved never to leave prison for such shocking crimes.

He said: ‘He took away the right to life of two vulnerable women, and for that we would like to see him never having the joy of a normal life.

‘He has taken the smile from our faces and made our lives a misery. We have lost a dear and loved member of our family, and that pain will never go away.’

Mr Chauhan’s son-in-law, Vinjay Solanki, added: ‘My mother-in-law was a strong-willed lady who had devoted her life to helping others.


‘She was recovering from a stroke and looking forward to her grandson’s wedding. She was loved by all her family and always had a smile on her face.

‘Mann took away from us one very precious person who can never be replaced. We will never forgive him - and he must pay for his crime.’


The nursing home, in Cropthorne Avenue, a quiet cul-de-sac in the Rowlatts Hill area of Leicester, offers accommodation for around 50 residents.

It caters for the elderly, people with learning and physical disabilities, people with dementia and people suffering from mental disorders.

Police said that, although Mann was able to enter through an insecure window, they were satisfied the home met ‘standard safety requirements’.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

ANTHONY HARDY

A man who killed three women and mutilated two of them to satisfy his "depraved and perverted" sexual cravings was jailed for life on 25th November 2003.
Anthony Hardy had been released from a psychiatric hospital just weeks before he dismembered two of his victims, leaving their body parts in bin bags near his home in Camden, north London.

Nine months earlier officers had discovered the body of another woman in his flat, but her death had been put down to natural causes.

It emerged that Hardy had also previously been investigated about a series of rapes.

Earlier, he pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to all three murders. Giving him three life sentences, Mr Justice Keith told him: "Only you know for sure how your victims met their deaths but the unspeakable indignities to which you subjected the bodies of your last two victims in order to satisfy your depraved and perverted needs are in no doubt."

The partial remains of Brigette MacClennan, 34, and Elizabeth Valad, 29, were found by a tramp rummaging in bins near Hardy's flat in the early hours of December 30, 2002. The body of , 31, had been discovered at the flat the previous January.

All of the women were drug addicts and had worked as prostitutes in north London.

The court heard that Hardy, 53, had an obsession with pornography and may have killed the women so that he could photograph their bodies.

Forty-four pictures of MacClennan and Valad were found by officers. They showed both women naked apart from a baseball cap - worn by Hardy when he was arrested - or a decorative "devil's mask". Both were dead when the pictures were taken.

Mr Horwell said: "Whether he intended to kill his first victim or else to do her serious bodily harm, it is the Crown's case that by the time he killed victims two and three, he must have intended to kill them."

He added: "We do not profess to have every piece of this disturbing jigsaw, but the defendant had an obsession with pornography and liked to dominate women. A motive for the murders we suggest is that he decided to kill these women in order to photograph them in various positions which he had arranged when they were dead."

Mr Horwell said Hardy had been preparing White to be photographed when he was disturbed in January by police investigating a dispute between him and a neighbour.

Officers discovered White's naked body on a bed in a locked room and Hardy was arrested for murder. However, a postmortem examination ruled she had died from a heart attack caused by a longstanding condition. "In the light of that [natural causes] conclusion police had no choice but to agree that no further action could be taken against the defendant," Mr Horwell said.

Hardy pleaded guilty to the criminal damage charge arising from the neighbour dispute and was sentenced under the Mental Health Act. He spent time at St Luke's hospital in Muswell Hill, north London, until he was discharged on November 4 last year - less than two months before the body parts were found.

Following that discovery a massive hunt was launched and officers recovered more body parts in bins around Hardy's home and found Valad's torso at his flat.


An examination revealed that both women received injuries consistent with strangulation and that their bodies had been mutilated after death with a sharp instrument.

The court heard that knives and saws were recovered from Hardy's home
.
Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Ken Bell, who led the investigation, said it was the most disturbing case he had been involved in. "It has always been the belief of the investigating team that a man in possession of all his faculties committed these murders.

"Hardy is a dangerous, devious and manipulative man. He took his victims to his flat where he murdered all three vulnerable women.

"Hardy dismembered his last two victims with considerable skill, whether this was part of his gratification or simply an attempt to hide his crimes we will never know."

The police are now looking into unsolved murders going back 20 years to see if Hardy had a hand in other attacks. Scotland Yard said he had previously been investigated for a number of rapes and an indecent assault. Police would not disclose details but a Yard spokeswoman said that a file had been sent to the crown prosecution service which decided there was "insufficient evidence".

DCI Bell said there was an investigation ongoing now that was looking at possible links to other attacks and Hardy, although nothing concrete had yet been found.

ANTHONY JOSEPH



Anthony Joseph has been detained indefinitely for killing another man on a night bus in north London in 2005. It is the latest in a series of cases which have highlighted the difficulty of judging if someone has genuine mental health problems. Is there not a better way?

CASE HISTORIES:
Wayne Royston killed a man in Bargoed, south Wales. Prosecution refused to accept diminished responsibility plea. Jailed for life for murder in Nov 2006
Stuart Harling jailed for life in Jun 2007 for murder of nurse Cheryl Moss. Harling's lawyers claimed he suffered from Asperger's syndrome and a personality disorder
Kemal Dogan given life on 12 Dec 2007. Claimed he was suffering from severe depression when he killed wife Aygul
Anthony Joseph claimed to be schizophrenic. Two trials ended in hung juries. Prosecution finally accepted plea of guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. Sent to Broadmoor on 20 Dec 2007
Garath Davies convicted of murdering jogger Egeli Rasta despite diminished responsibility defence. Sentenced next month

Stabbing a complete stranger to death for no apparent reason may appear - to the layman - to be the actions of a "madman".
 
But when it comes to the law there is a fine line between being "mad or bad".

Every year dozens of juries all over the country are asked to decide for themselves - based on often diametrically opposed views from psychiatric experts - if someone is guilty of murder or manslaughter, due to diminished responsibility.

In recent months there have been a number of high-profile trials in which there was little doubt the man in the dock was the killer but he and his legal team were seeking to persuade the jury that a mental disorder had removed his ability to form intent.

The case of Anthony Joseph was one of the hardest to judge.
Joseph's defence counsel, Philip Katz QC, claimed his client was suffering from the onset of schizophrenia when he killed Richard Whelan on a night bus in north London in July 2005.

The prosecution initially refused to accept the diminished responsibility defence. At the retrial Victor Temple, QC, said: "The defendant had been drinking and taking drugs and needed little or no excuse to turn his pent up anger against the innocent victim."

He pointed out Joseph had gone out and bought a knife only hours after being freed from prison.

The defence of diminished responsibility in this case has been used as a defence for the indefensible, with so much evidence showing that Anthony Joseph was an angry and vindictive man
Whelan family

Two psychiatrists gave differing views and two juries were unable to reach verdicts, with the prosecution eventually agreeing to accept the diminished responsibility plea.

Richard's family were angry and his sister, Teresa Ward, said outside court that diminished responsibility was a "defence for the indefensible".

Last week the government announced "the next step in the first comprehensive review of murder law for 50 years".

The Ministry of Justice said it was seeking the views of key "stakeholders" on a report by the Law Commission which suggested, among other things, a reform of the defence of diminished responsibility.
 
It promised that if changes were necessary draft legislation would be published for public consultation next summer.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "Where mental disorder is cited as a diminished responsibility defence, a successful defence may lead to a hospital order which requires evidence from at least two psychiatrists, one of whom must be registered as having special experience in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorder."

Killer 'depressed'
But in several recent cases psychiatrists have given very different views on the sanity of the defendant.
Kemal Dogan went on trial accused of murdering his wife, Aygul, after he found her exposing herself on a webcam and flirting with another man in an internet cafe near their home in north London.

Dr Tony Nayani, giving evidence for the defence, said Dogan had been suffering from "medium to severe" depression at the time of the killing and had also reported hearing voices and seeing animals talking to him.

But two other psychiatrists disagreed with Dr Nayani's diagnosis.
 
One of them, Dr Thomas McLintock, told the court that Dogan was possibly "malingering" and may have been "coached by another patient".

He said there were serious inconsistencies in the symptoms Dogan was presenting and he pointed out that the defendant smiled and laughed when he was visited by his family at the John Howard Centre, a forensic mental health unit in east London.

The jury found Dogan guilty of murder and he was jailed for life.

The government has in the past suggested removing juries from complex fraud trials, although it has yet to introduce legislation.
 
'Jury right forum'
Barristers have opposed the idea of doing away with juries in fraud cases and Sally O'Neill QC, from the Criminal Bar Association, said she was similarly reluctant to remove them in homicide cases.
 
She said: "Expert evidence is always difficult for juries and when you have expert witnesses disagreeing then it can be very difficult.

"Sometimes the issues can be very complex but juries are usually able to form a view and I still feel the jury is the right forum. It is usually a question of presentation and that is up to the prosecution."
 
The Ministry of Justice insists it is right for a jury of laymen to be the final arbiters of guilt, rather than a panel of psychiatric experts. A spokeswoman said: "In a criminal trial which relies on a jury to determine issues of guilt and criminal responsibility, the decision has to be informed but not determined by expert opinion.

"As the European Court has noted, psychiatry is not an exact science. Medical evidence on the single issue of a defendant's mental state is likely to vary widely between doctors, and much more so the issue of criminal responsibility, which turns as much on cultural as medical issues.


The law needs to be clear and fair so that people have confidence in the criminal justice system
Maria Eagle
Justice Minister

"The point that juries may find it hard to conclude the issue of responsibility simply reflects its complexity.

"It is not an argument for delegating the decision to expert opinion which will necessarily approach it from a narrower professional perspective, and with no greater prospect of agreement."

Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: "Murder is the most serious crime and it is essential that the law reflects this. "The law needs to be clear and fair so that people have confidence in the criminal justice system. We want to have an open and inclusive debate on the issues before we bring forward firm proposals on how the law should be reformed."

'Not for jurors'
Michael Howlett, director of the Zito Trust, said he would prefer a system whereby the jury simply decided whether a defendant had committed "homicide".
 
"It would then be left up to the judge to decide based on the evidence - including the psychiatric evidence - what was the most appropriate way of dealing with the person who was convicted. This distinction between murder and manslaughter is way out of date," he said.
 
Consultant clinical psychologist, Elie Godsi, agrees and believes the current system is "flawed".

Mr Godsi, the author of Violence and Society: Making Sense of Madness and Badness, said: "Psychiatrists' opinions are not objective. It is not like diagnosing cholera or some other illness. The notion that it is clear cut is a myth."

The diminished responsibility plea can be abused in some rare cases, but it usually reflects that a person is not capable of rational action.
Marjorie Wallace
Chief executive, Sane

He said it would be better to have a system whereby homicides could be graded to take into account a number of factors, including premeditation, provocation and mental illness.

Mr Godsi also pointed out that those killers who fake mental illness because they see "mad as the soft option" may be mistaken.

"They usually get banged up indefinitely and their time in hospital is proportionate to the crime they committed rather than how ill they are," he said.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said: "The diminished responsibility plea can be abused in some rare cases, but it usually reflects that a person is not capable of rational action.

"While we recognise the concerns of victim's families and loved ones, Sane believes that the law should be able to demonstrate compassion towards those who commit crimes - however terrible - when the balance of their mind was disturbed."

ANTHONY WOOD AND MATTHEW MAW



Two men have been jailed for the frenzied stabbing of a teenage girl, who they left to choke to death on her own blood in a Lancashire park.

Louise Evans, 18, who had Asperger's syndrome, was stabbed so hard in the attack in Burnley that the knife broke in two, Preston Crown Court heard.

Anthony Wood, 21, from Burnley, was found guilty of murder and jailed for at least 22 years and 183 days.

Matthew Maw, 18, admitted murder and must serve 18 years and 63 days.

Their teenage victim suffered 39 head and neck injuries in the assault in Towneley Park in July 2009.

Slashed throat

Her killers, who had befriended her at a homeless hostel they all shared in the town, led her to a secluded spot by a disused bandstand and "brutally" attacked her, the court heard.

Ms Evans' throat was slashed and she was repeatedly bludgeoned with a branch.

Louise Evans
Louise Evans was stabbed and beaten

On sentencing, Judge Anthony Russell QC told the court that Maw, also from Burnley, had inflicted most of the physical violence but Wood had persuaded him to do his "dirty work" for him.
He told the them: "You were prepared to go beyond all basic moral boundaries and act in a fashion referred to as feral violence - completely wild behaviour inflicted on a vulnerable victim for no reason at all.


"The sanctity of human life appears to mean nothing to you. This was a savage attack, carried out relentlessly.

'Loved dearly'

"Louise must have suffered terribly because she did not die instantaneously.

"The only word that even begins to describe your conduct is 'wicked'."

They had been part of a group of youngsters who had been on a drinking session the evening before the attack.

Matthew Maw
Matthew Maw admitted murder

Ms Evans, from Haslingden, been living in the hostel because she wanted to be independent, her adopted parents said in a statement read to the court.

She had complex needs but was "special" and "loved dearly," Louise and Jeff Evans said. "We are lost and empty and in disbelief that somebody could do this.

"There is a void in our lives that will never be filled."

Speaking after the case, Det Insp Paul Broxson, from Lancashire Police, said his thoughts were with Ms Evans' family, who had lost their daughter in "such tragic circumstances." He said: "I am very pleased with the sentence which reflects the horrific and sustained nature of this attack.

"As for Maw and Wood, this was a particularly brutal and cowardly assault, planned and carried out together, and they fully deserve their sentence."

ASHLEY BUCKNOR



A 20-year-old man has received a life sentence for shooting dead a teenager in an attack at a south-east London supermarket.

Ashley Bucknor shot 18-year-old Ryan Bravo in the back at Costcutter in Walworth in August 2008
The court heard that Bucknor shot him in retaliation, following an incident that took place earlier in Lambeth.

Bucknor, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of murder at Woolwich Crown Court on 29th September 2009. He must serve at least 32 years.

The court heard that Bucknor and at least one other man pushed past Mr Bravo, his two brothers and a cousin as they entered the supermarket on 6 August 2008.
 
Mr Bravo, from Brixton, south London, was shot dead at the scene and the men drove away on mopeds.

Police stopped Bucknor later that day and found him carrying a handgun and two motorcycle helmets.


Outside court Det Insp Tim Carter said: "Bucknor was part of a group who went out with firearms that night and targeted two young men as part of retaliation for an incident earlier in the day in Lambeth. "It was still daylight, a warm evening in August in one of the busiest streets in London. They paid no regard to any innocent members of the public." Det Insp Carter said Mr Bravo was from a close-knit family.  "He was no gang member. He was expected to start a university course soon and was generally known as a good lad," he added.

Police have questioned a further eight men and one woman in relation to the incident. All have been released on bail.

ASIM KHAN AND FAISAL ASLAM


                                                           Asim Khan



                                                           Faisal Alsam
                                                              


Two men have been jailed for life for the savage gangland murder of a student who was lured to a lonely spot and bludgeoned to death.

Asim Khan, 27, of Devon Street, Farnworth, and Faisal Aslam, 26, of Clarendon Road, Whalley Range, both denied murder at Manchester Crown Court.

But, after they found guilty by a jury on the 18th March 2010, and were told they must serve 30 years in prison for killing Umair Waseem in a plot to keep £7,000 of ‘hush’ money he had promised by gangsters.

Andrew Menary QC said that Umair Waseem, 22, of Fern Street, Deane, Bolton, was studying electronic engineering at Bolton University.

But, unknown to his respectable family, he was leading a secret life as a drug dealer and gangster’s ‘strong-arm man’.

After he was attacked by a gang of hammer-wielding rivals in Bolton in 2008 he was promised £7,000 to withdraw his complaint against two men. Asim Khan was supposed to act as a go-between, but never handed the money over to his friend Umair Waseem.

When Mr Waseem began to pester him for the money, Khan set up what Mr Justice Parker described as an ‘elaborate ruse’ to lure him to his death. Believing he was going to take part in a £500,000 robbery or contract killing, Mr Waseem drove to Angelzarke Reservoir near Bolton, in a Vauxhall Vectra he had been told to hire for the bogus job.

The following day he was found dead in the snow. He had been hogtied and suffered catastrophic head injuries.

Mr Justice Parker said that Umair Waseem was ‘naive, seduced by glamour and fell in with the wrong kind of people’. He said Asim Khan had deliberately posed as Mr Waseem’s friend and confidant to get him killed and that while he was not present when it happened, he was a ‘principal architect of the arrangements to’ murder Umair Waseem’.

The judge added: “The killing itself was brutal, the setting was a lonely and remote spot, especially late at night in the dead of winter."

After the murder Asim Khan and Faisal Aslam tried to sell the blood-stained Vauxhall Vectra to Chorlton car dealer.

The court heard it is likely there were a number of attackers and that it was possible that the gangsters had never intended to pay Umair Waseem, since they went to jail for the assault anyway, following the testimony of other witnesses.

The judge said he was ‘satisfied’ that Fasial Aslam was there when Umair Waseem was ‘cruelly bludgeoned to death’.

Sentencing them both to life, he said: “This was a cold-blooded, premeditated, carefully planned and savage murder for financial gain.”

Mr Waseem’s family said: “We miss our son so much, the loss of his life in such a tragic and horrific way has left such a big hole in our lives which is impossible to fill.”

ASJID MAHMOOD



An arsonist who murdered two children and their mother in a revenge attack at their Bradford home was on the 11th February 2011, given three life sentences and told he will serve a minimum of 29 years in jail.

Asjid Mahmood, 22, was convicted by a Bradford Crown Court jury of the murders of Iram Shah, her daughter Alina, ten, and son, Aman, eight, by starting a fire at their home in Hendford Drive, Pollard Park, Bradford, shortly after midnight on 6th July 2010.



His brother Arshed Mahmood, 18, who was convicted of three counts of manslaughter, and was locked up for 17 years.

Jailing Asjid Mahmood, the judge Mr Justice Coulson, told him he had committed an "appalling and horrific crime".