England

Michael Kelly admits Banbury horror mask killings

Michael Kelly and the horror mask he was wearing
Image caption Michael Kelly was wearing a horror mask when he carried out the killings

A Swindon man who admitted murdering his former partner and her son with an axe has been jailed for life.

Michael Kelly, 46, wore a horror mask to attack Sally Cox, 43, and her son Martin Faulkner, 22, at their house in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on 13 December.

Kelly, who must spend at least 30 years in jail, snapped after his relationship with Ms Cox began to fail, police said.

Ms Cox's daughter and another girl escaped from the house. Police think he would otherwise have killed them too.

At Oxford Crown Court, Kelly, of Hatch Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and two of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, Thames Valley Police said.

Amy, 19 at the time, jumped from a first-floor bedroom window, suffering serious injuries as a result, after her brother stepped between her and Kelly.

The other girl cannot be named for legal reasons.

'Gruesome mask'

Kelly fled the scene of the murders in Mold Crescent.

He was arrested in Swindon, Wiltshire, by police a few hours after the two bodies were found.

In a statement issued through police after the case, relatives of the victims said it was a "sad and meaningless loss".

Image caption Sally Cox was found dead along with her son in the house they shared in Banbury

"Today has seen justice done for Sally and Martin, although no sentence will ever be long enough for the hurt and suffering that he has put the family through, not least of all the suffering that Sally and Martin went through.

"The family would also like to thank Thames Valley Police for their help and support through this sad and meaningless loss."

Det Ch Insp Peter Vigurs, of Thames Valley Police, said: "These brutal murders were carried out by Kelly with an axe whilst he was wearing a gruesome horror mask.

"Sally Cox and Kelly moved into the house together and he had been accepted by her children in February last year.

"They separated in November 2010 and it would appear that Kelly was unable to deal with this separation.

"Our sympathies go to the family and I very much hope that what has happened here today may, in some small way, allow them to begin the next stage of their lives."

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