London

Stalker Clifford Mills jailed for killing ex-girlfriend

Lorna Smith
Image caption Lorna Smith was killed on 2 February last year

A man who murdered his ex-girlfriend after stalking her on Facebook and luring her to his flat to kill her has been jailed for a minimum of 21 years.

Clifford Mills, 49, from Brixton, south London, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering Lorna Smith, 45.

He said when he stabbed her, he was suffering from a mental disorder.

Mills had told staff at St Thomas' Hospital in central London someone called "Stan" had committed the murder, and that "Stan" existed in his head.

Passing sentence, Common Serjeant of London, Judge Brian Barker QC, said: "The background to this case was one of selfish and manipulative behaviour.

"It was a shocking waste of a productive and a loyal life.

"This was a planned killing and an explosion of violent temper that led to the death of someone who had, over the years, done everything she could to help you."

Mills and Miss Smith, who was 45 when she died, met in 2002 but their relationship broke down four years later.

Mills remained in contact with her, including using the alias Charlie Manning to befriend her on Facebook.

Image caption Mills said he had a "split personality" and that "Stan" had killed Miss Smith

Eventually, after Miss Smith began seeing another man, he lured her to his flat, where he hit her with a pick axe handle before stabbing her last February.

The judge added: "This was a terrible act and I have no doubt that you planned to kill her and I have no doubt she suffered before she died and you must take responsibility for your actions.

"This was a crime arising out of jealousy and anger and you have constantly sought to evade your responsibility."

An impact statement from Miss Smith's daughter Louise Harvey which was read to the court said: "My mum lived for her family, especially her grandchildren."

Ms Harvey, who was three months pregnant when her mother died, said she felt "anguish" that Miss Smith would never meet her baby daughter.

"I also think about the terrible way she died and the fear and pain she must have been in," the statement added.

"I sometimes think these thoughts will haunt me for the rest of my life."

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