Norfolk

Kerri McAuley death: Man guilty of murdering 'on-off partner'

Kerri McAuley Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Kerri McAuley had 19 separate injuries to her head and face

A man has been found guilty of murdering his "on-off partner" by bludgeoning her to death.

Joe Storey, 27, had denied murdering Kerri McAuley, 32, who was found dead at Southalls Way, Norwich, on 8 January, but admitted manslaughter.

Storey was high on cocaine when he punched mother-of-two Ms McAuley after a row about an ex-girlfriend.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court took less than an hour to find Storey guilty. He will be sentenced on Friday.

Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption Joe Storey, 27, had denied murdering Kerri McAuley, 32, but admitted manslaughter

The court had heard friends describe a history of domestic violence which left Ms McAuley "disfigured" and fearing for her life.

In her texts Ms McAuley described Mr Storey's behaviour as "not normal". She wrote: "you are not ready to care for anyone but yourself".

"You were trying to kill me, you were suffocating me until I nearly passed out", adding that if he stays away "hopefully you won't go to prison for beating me to a pulp".

Later Mr Storey and Ms McAuley agreed to meet up again.

Turbulent relationship

Pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift said in the fatal attack Ms McAuley sustained multiple facial lacerations and one of her ears was torn.

Image caption The body of the mother-of-two was found in a flat in Southalls Way on 8 January

Dr Swift said some of the injuries were caused by "blunt force impact".

Storey, of Murrells Court, Norwich, had admitted the pair had a turbulent relationship.

He said he was staying at Ms McAuley's home when she confronted him about his ex-girlfriend who she thought was back in contact with him.

Storey said he struck her five or six times and had a phone in his hand at the time but insisted he had "not to hit her with it".

Prosecutor Simon Spence said Storey behaved like an animal and if "he'd had a scrap of humanity" Storey would have called an ambulance after the attack instead of leaving Ms McAuley to die in the flat.

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