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19 June 2017, 13:21
A man's been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 24 years for beating to death his former girlfriend in Norwich.
Joe Storey, 27, left mother-of-two Kerri McAuley, 32, to die in a pool of blood following a brutal attack in her own home, Norwich Crown Court heard on Monday.
She suffered 19 separate injuries with her whole face caved in by a centimetre, both jaws broken, fractures to both eye sockets, her nasal bone protruding from her face and evidence of strangulation.
Her body was found by her mother and brother. Storey did not raise the alarm, instead drinking, taking cocaine and watching violent pornography, the court was told.
Storey had denied Ms McAuley's murder but it took a jury just 43 minutes to find him guilty.
Judge Stephen Holt, jailing Storey for life with a minimum term of 24 years, said it was ``one of the worst cases of domestic violence'' the court had seen.
He told Storey: ``You preyed on a warm-hearted and kind woman.''
Storey had been in a relationship with Ms McAuley for eight weeks before the violence began, and each time she tried to leave him he ``plagued her and pestered her'' with texts to keep the relationship going.
``She was posting pictures of her injured face on Facebook for all to see but you pressed your way back into her life,'' said Judge Holt. ``It's a deeply sad feature of this case.''
Storey, formerly of Murrells Court, Norwich, nodded to the judge as the sentence was read out, and there was a shout of ``bye'' from the public gallery.
In a victim personal statement read to the court, Ms McAuley's mother Lesley said: ``I can't imagine the fear and pain that my daughter endured that night at the hands of that monster, the man who claimed to love her.''
She described her daughter as a ``sociable, fun-loving girl with a heart of gold'', and that she was a doting mother to her two sons from a previous relationship.
Storey had locked the door and left Ms McAuley to die, the court heard. Her sons had been at another address with their father.
``I can imagine them now had that door been unlocked, walking in and shouting 'mummy' as they always did and being confronted by that scene of absolute horror,'' said Lesley McAuley.
There were sobs from the public gallery as the statement was read out.
The bearded defendant, who wore a black T-shirt and had tattoos on his arms and neck, showed no reaction.
Ms McAuley was found dead at her flat in Southalls Way, Norwich, on January 8 2017.
Simon Spence, prosecuting, said Storey had a ``history of violence towards Kerri'' and a restraining order had been made in October 2016.
Storey had also been made subject to restraining orders in respect of four other former partners, and had been convicted for violence, including punching a pregnant ex-girlfriend in the stomach.
Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said the murder of Ms McAuley was not premeditated and that Storey had admitted manslaughter before he was found guilty of murder.