He claimed to have panicked after attacking “on-off” partner Kerri McAuley but Joe Storey is a cold, self-centred and callous killer who knew exactly what he was capable of – and what the fatal consequences would be.
Ridiculous is the only way to describe Storey’s protestation that he did not intend to kill Ms McAuley.
Since they met on Facebook, some 18 months before Ms McAuley’s death, Storey had subjected his tragic partner to a string of assaults as he had other women before her who had the misfortune to have become involved with him.
A disturbing mix of drink and drugs coupled with an insane jealously combined to create a Hulk-like monster of a man who used his fists to resolve any problems he encountered in the relationship.
On previous occasions Storey, who has ruthless tattooed on one hand, had attacked Ms McAuley.
The results of his brutal actions were there for all to see after Ms McAuley posted pictures of her badly beaten face on social media.
He knew exactly what affect his brutality had on this slight young woman who was just 5ft 6ins tall and weighed just eight and a half stone.
But despite these earlier warnings and his insistence that he was change his ways, he continued to do exactly as he had before and attack Ms McAuley.
She never stood a chance. Storey ensured that.
As well as breaking her face he also broke her phone ensuring she could not get help.
Storey also made no effort to summon help for Ms McAuley who was literally left for dead by the defendant who, after taking a picture of his face covered in his partner’s blood, sought refuge at a friend’s house where he drink alcohol and tried to score drugs.
He even returned to the scene a few hours later when he again refused to help Ms McAuley or report what had happened, instead allowing her mother and brother to make the horrific discovery.
He has continued to taunt and torment Ms McAuley’s family throughout the court process, from the moment he smiled at them during his first appearance at Norwich Magistrates to his non-appearance at Norwich Crown Court yesterday on the day he was due to be sentenced.
Like Ms McAuley they too are victims of this callous, arrogant, heartless and ultimately cowardly killer.