Terry Higgins jailed for murdering Catherine Leighton

Terry Higgins
Image caption Higgins set fire to clothing and a knife

A man has been jailed for a minimum of 22 years for murdering a woman in an "appalling and unprovoked" attack in Derby.

Catherine Leighton, 54, was strangled and had her throat cut at her home in Merrill Way, Allenton, in April.

Terry Higgins, 25, of Grosvenor Street, Allenton, had denied murder at Nottingham Crown Court.

The jury heard Higgins had tried to cover up the murder by burning evidence.

Ms Leighton was found dead at her home shortly after midnight on 30 April.

'Defenceless woman'

The court heard how Higgins, who had spent the day drinking and had taken mephedrone, attempted to cover up his crime by lighting a fire on land near Ms Leighton's home in an effort to destroy clothing and a knife.

He then approached police officers who were investigating an unrelated incident on a nearby street and told them he had killed someone.

Higgins was arrested at the scene but later went on to deny the murder.

After the hearing, Senior Investigating Officer Det Ch Insp Sam Slack said: "We are pleased that the jury found Higgins guilty and we are satisfied with the sentence, which reflects the awful nature of the crime.

"This was an appalling and unprovoked attack on a defenceless woman.

"I am disappointed for her family that the case had to go to trial and that they were forced to sit and listen to the details of her death."

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