Joe Storey will serve a minimum of 24 years in jail after being found guilty of murdering his former partner Kerri McAuley following a “sustained and brutal” attack in her Norwich home.
The body of the 32-year-old was found at Southalls Way, Norwich, on Sunday, January 8.
Norwich Crown Court heard the mother-of-two suffered 19 separate injuries to her face, including fractured eye sockets, cheek bones and jaw following a sustained attack.
Her on-off partner Storey, 27, formerly of Murrells Court,Norwich, had gone on trial after having denied murder although he had admitted manslaughter.
But Storey was today given a life sentence with a minimum term of 24 years before he is considered eligible for parole after a jury of seven men and five women had taken an hour to find him guilty of murder.
Jailing Storey Judge Stephen Holt described it as “one of the worst cases of domestic violence that have come before these courts”.
Simon Spence QC, prosecuting, said Storey had shown a “history of violence” towards Ms McAuley as well as “other women he has been in a relationship with”.
The court heard Storey had been the subject of four restraining orders against previous partners, including Ms McAuley.
Storey had been the subject of an order preventing him from contacting Ms McAuley in October last year – less than three months before her death.
Storey, who has four previous convictions covering 11 offences, had been jailed for offences against previous partners.
He was jailed for four years in 2011 for two offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against two previous partners including one who was thought to be pregnant, who he repeatedly kicked and punched in the stomach stating he “hoped he had killed the unborn baby”.
The court also heard of another conviction for wounding on another previous partner who had a knife held to her throat by Storey during an argument in which she was also punched to the head and headbutted.
Mr Spence said the degree of violence used by Storey against Ms McAuley could be seen to be “sadistic”.
Other aggravating features to the case include Storey’s non appearance on Friday which Mr Spence said added to the “grief and stress” being suffered by Ms McAuley’s family which he said would have been part of Storey’s “motivation”.
As previously reported Storey had originally been due to be sentenced on Friday but failed to appear for the hearing after he told prison officials at HMP Bedford that he need not attend.
Andrew Oliver, for Storey, said while it had to be accepted Storey “failed to obtain assistance” for Ms McAuley he insisted the attack had not been pre-meditated.
He also said that Storey, who had admitted manslaughter, had acknowledged causing her death if not the intention to inflict her really serious harm.
A two-week trial had heard how Ms McAuley had been out in Norwich with Storey on the evening of Saturday, January 7.
At approximately 10.40pm on the following day (Sunday, January 8), officers were alerted by ambulance crews to reports of a woman who had been found dead in Southalls Way.
A post mortem examination revealed Ms McAuley had been the subject of a severe blunt force trauma to the face consistent with a serious violent assault. Speaking after the case Ms McAuley’s mother Lesley which stated: “My life will never now be whole without Kerri to complete it, as a family we are forever broken. My heart bears the deepest break from which it will never heal.”