Sian Blake death: Arthur Simpson-Kent loses life term challenge

Arthur Simpson-Kent Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Arthur Simpson-Kent will spend the rest of his life in jail

The partner of former EastEnders actress Sian Blake has lost a challenge against his "whole-life" jail sentence for killing her and their two children.

Arthur Simpson-Kent, 49, stabbed Ms Blake to death along with their sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four.

He killed them when he learnt Ms Blake was planning to leave him and take their sons away, the court heard.

Judges upheld a decision that he should receive the most "severe punishment for his horrific crimes" on Tuesday.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Sian was killed with her two sons Zachary (left) and Amon

Following the murder in December 2015, Simpson-Kent painted over the bloodstains in the family bungalow in Erith, south-east London, before fleeing to his native Ghana in January.

He was arrested at Heathrow Airport in February after being extradited and admitted murdering his family in June.

'Extreme brutality'

He was sentenced at the Old Bailey last October by a judge who said he had been left in "no doubt" he should receive the most severe punishment available for his "truly horrific" crimes.

Lord Thomas, describing the murders of the three vulnerable victims as horrific and involving "extreme brutality", said the court was "entirely satisfied" that the sentencing judge was entitled to reach the conclusion that it was a case where "just punishment" required the imposition of a whole-life order.

The appeal judges rejected argument on the killer's behalf that a "very long finite" sentence in the region of 40 years would have been sufficient - and would have given him some hope of release once served.

In throwing out Simpson-Kent's challenge, Lord Thomas said that for a whole-life sentence to be imposed the offending must be "exceptionally high".

He said: "We have to look at the whole of the circumstances and to consider whether this was a case where the seriousness of the offending was exceptionally high - we have no doubt that it was."

Image caption Sian Blake played Frankie Pierre in EastEnders in 1996 and 1997

Ms Blake played Frankie Pierre in 56 episodes of EastEnders between 1996 and 1997.

She went on to work as a voice-over artist and sign language interpreter.

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