Norfolk

Kerri McAuley murder: Joe Storey sentencing delayed

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

A convicted murderer has not been sentenced as planned after he told prison staff he did not need to be in court for the hearing.

Joe Storey, 27, was convicted of murdering mother Kerri McAuley at a Norwich Crown Court hearing on Thursday.

It is understood he told staff at Bedford Prison he did not need to attend court the next day.

Prosecutor Simon Spence said the situation was "unprecedented".

"On behalf of the prosecution, I can't help but express my disbelief at the way in which Bedford Prison has dealt with this matter," he said.

"It's caused a huge amount of inconvenience for the court, a great deal of public expenditure and has clearly caused a great deal of distress to the family, the friends and to the members of the jury who chose to return to see what the sentence would be on the man they convicted of murder yesterday."

Mr Spence said he believed the prison "should be hanging its head in shame".

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

Jurors took less than an hour to find Storey guilty after a two-week trial, during which the court was told he was high on cocaine when he punched his "on-off partner" Ms McAuley after a row about an ex-girlfriend.

Ms McAuley was found dead at a property in Southalls Way, Norwich, on 8 January.

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

Pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift said the fatal attack left Ms McAuley with multiple facial lacerations and a torn ear.

Storey had admitted manslaughter but denied murder. Sentencing is now scheduled to take place on Monday.

Image caption Prosecutor Simon Spence said the situation with Storey's sentencing was "unprecedented"

More on this story

Related Internet links

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