Sharon Perrett murder: Boyfriend jailed for 18 years

Daniel O'Malley-Keyes Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Daniel O'Malley-Keyes had claimed his girlfriend's fatal injuries were self-inflicted

A man who beat his girlfriend to death after a row on a night out has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

Daniel O'Malley-Keyes subjected Sharon Perrett to a "sustained violent attack" at her flat in Park Gardens in Christchurch, Dorset, in the early hours of 26 August.

Ms Perrett, 37, suffered 15 rib fractures as well as 82 areas of external bruising and abrasions.

O'Malley-Keyes, 38, was found guilty of murder following a 13-day trial.

He was sentenced to life at Winchester Crown Court after a jury rejected his defence that Ms Perrett's injuries were self-inflicted.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Sharon Perrett's family said she had a "beaming smile"

Dorset Police said the couple had been out for drinks with friends in the Southbourne area of Bournemouth to celebrate O'Malley-Keyes' birthday on the night of the murder.

The pair were seen arguing as they walked between pubs at about 19:50 BST before Ms Perrett walked away from the group to sit at a bus stop.

Passers-by later saw her lying on the pavement, apparently due to being drunk, and saw no visible injuries before O'Malley-Keyes approached them to say he was her boyfriend and would look after her.

Neighbours told police they heard raised voices from Ms Perrett's flat at about 00:30.

'Vulnerable state'

O'Malley-Keyes, of Chestnut Avenue in Bournemouth, phoned his mother at 02:17 to say Ms Perrett was not breathing and that he did not know what to do.

His mother went to the flat and dialled 999 at 02:43 after her son told her he was "scared" to call an ambulance himself, police said.

Paramedics pronounced Ms Perrett dead at the scene at 03:00.

Det Ch Insp Rich Dixey, of Dorset Police, said Ms Perrett had been in a "vulnerable state" and needed someone "to look after her".

"The very person who should have done that actually brutally assaulted her, causing her death," he said.

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