Dorset

Hayley Dean death: Boyfriend jailed for lump hammer murder

Hayley Dean Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Hayley Dean died at the bedsit she shared with James D'Arcy

A man who murdered his girlfriend with a lump hammer in her bed has been jailed.

James D'Arcy killed 38-year-old Hayley Dean at the bedsit the couple shared in Bournemouth in September.

D'Arcy, 50, of Derby Road, admitted manslaughter but was found guilty of murder at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years at the same court earlier.

Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption James D'Arcy could not recall the attack on his girlfriend because he was heavily intoxicated

A post-mortem examination found Ms Dean died as a result of severe head injuries, sustaining fractures to her skull and swelling to the brain.

The court heard D'Arcy admitted to police: "I killed my girlfriend with a hammer. I smashed her head in."

Dorset Police said he told officers he had slept with her body overnight after the attack, which Det Insp Neil Phillips described as a "sustained and brutal".

Following the sentencing, he added: "She was targeted as she lay helpless in her bed and experts have said she would have been rendered unconscious almost immediately due to the ferocity of the blows delivered by James D'Arcy."

The court heard D'Arcy killed her during an argument and could not remember the attack as he was so drunk.

Neighbours heard screams and thuds coming from the flat on the evening of the attack, police said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Ms Dean's body was discovered in her bed at the bedsit flat in Derby Road, Bournemouth

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