London

Psychiatric nurse jailed for Kilburn woman burns murder

Aiah Tondoneh, 44
Image caption Tondoneh, a 44-year-old mental health nurse, plotted the attack on Ms Drepaul

A male psychiatric nurse has been jailed for life after admitting the murder of a female nurse.

Aiah Tondoneh, 44, from Claire Court, Shoot Up Hill, Kilburn, north London, had pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murdering partner Donna Drepaul, 50.

Officers found Ms Drepaul suffering severe burns at her home in Clifton Court, Finsbury Park, on 2 July 2010.

Tondoneh was told at the Old Bailey that he must serve a minimum term of 21 years and six months.

Ms Drepal, a senior oncology nurse at University College Hospital, was taken to the Royal London Hospital, where she died two days later.

'Zombie-like'

She was so badly disfigured that horrified neighbours did not recognise her as she went knocking on the doors of their flats begging for help.

Image caption Police found Ms Drepaul suffering severe burns at her north London home

Ms Drepaul appeared to have lost her lips, nose and hair and suffered burns to her face and upper body, with skin peeling from her torso.

A police officer who went to the scene in Finsbury Park, north London, said: "I have never seen anything like this before in my life and for a split second, a feeling of numbness overcame me."

Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said: "The police say she was almost zombie-like as she moved towards them holding her arms out saying 'help me, help me'."

The court heard that she said "my partner poured gasoline on me and set me on fire" as she struggled to breathe.

Tondoneh plotted the attack after realising Miss Drepaul, who had tried to end the relationship, had been out that night with another man.

The judge, Mr Justice Nicol, said: "The injuries to Donna were the stuff of horror movies for the neighbours and emergency services which dealt with her."

Meanwhile, Tondoneh took a night bus home and was arrested soon after.

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