London

Life for man who bludgeoned Gipsy Hill woman to death

A man has been jailed for life for killing a woman whose body lay undiscovered in her flat for three weeks after he beat her to death.

Stephen Foad, 42, had denied murdering Siobhan Kelly, 39, but changed his plea three days after his trial started.

Foad, of Foxhill Lane, Gipsy Hill, south London, was given a minimum term of 13 years.

Miss Kelly may have taken up to 15 hours to die, the Old Bailey jury heard.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said Miss Kelly was the victim of a "sustained and savage" attack after being bludgeoned on the head, punched and stamped.

Police forced their way into her flat in Tudor Road, Gipsy Hill, on 7 February last year.

They found her decomposing body wrapped in a duvet on the bed and blood spatter marks in the bedroom and living room.

Mr Atkinson said she had been attacked at different times in both rooms.

Casual relationship

There was evidence that she had been struck with a red candle in the living room, which may have knocked her unconscious for a while.

She had later crawled into the bedroom where she was attacked again. A bedside lamp was thought to have been used to strike her several times.

Miss Kelly also had fractured ribs and boot marks on her clothing.

She was last seen alive on 15 January when Foad, with whom she had a casual relationship, was the last person to see her alive.

Palm prints in blood in both rooms matched heavy drinker Foad, as did the bloody boot prints.

Mr Atkinson said: "It was this defendant who unleashed a sustained and savage attack on Siobhan Kelly.

"Miss Kelly had been beaten to death. There were a number of heavy blows to her head and blows to her body and arms."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites