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- The material on this website has been transferred to a new, more comprehensive site. Please click here to go to the new site
- In Memoriam: Jennie Leeman (Died 18th September 2011))
- In Memoriam: Marie Stewart (Died 18th December 2010)
- In Memoriam: Alami Gotip (Died 25th May 2011)
- Linda Bakewell: In Memoriam (Died 19th or 20th November 2010)
- Deaths in 2010
- Deaths in 2011
- Deaths pre 2010
- domestic homicide
- Domestic Murders
- domestic violence
- domestic violence and young women
- Editor's Comments
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- Guest Contributions
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- Murder with sexual mutilation
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The material on this website has been transferred to a new, more comprehensive site. Please click here to go to the new site
Jennie Leeman lived on Higher Cowley Farm farm in Parracombe, north Devon with her husband David (59) and their four children, where they ran a holiday lets business.They had lived there for more than 10 years, having moved there from the Midlands.
On Sunday 18th September 2011 Ms Leeman was shot and killed. David Leeman was arrested and charged with murder on the 20th September 2011.
Devon and Cornwall Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the case. A spokesman said: “Police attended a remote property located near Parracombe in north Devon following a reported domestic-related incident. On arrival police found the body of a woman aged in her 40s in the grounds of the property having sustained apparent gunshot wounds. A man in his 50s was located and arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.”
Following the killing a source was quoted as saying: “There were rumours there were troubles in the marriage but Jennie was quite private about that type of thing.”
It is reported that witnesses heard up to four shots and that children playing nearby ran to a neighbour pleading for help, but by the time police and ambulances reached the scene Ms Leeman had died.
Friends of Mrs Leeman were said to have described her as lovely, very pretty and well-liked. One neighbour, in her 70s, was quoted as saying: “Jennie was absolutely devoted to her children. She was very friendly and always helping out with things in the village.”
It is unclear whether Ms Leeman’s children – two sons and two daughters, aged from six to 17 – were at the property or witnessed the shooting. David Leeman also has an adult son from a previous marriage.
In the immediate aftermath of the killing, police conducted high visibility patrols within the Parracombe area to offer reassurance to residents. Officers said the incident was “extremely rare”, and were working with the community to allay any concerns that residents may have.
Note: This report has been drawn from reports in the Daily Mail, North Devon Gazette and Guardian Online.
Marie Stewart (30) was a graduate of Huddersfield University and worked with disabled children. She was also the devoted mother of two children. She lived in a house in Perseverance Place, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, and died there on 18th December 2011.
Andrew Lindo (29), her fiance and the father of her children, strangled her, cut her throat and stabbed her. He then cleaned the house, stored her body and pretended she had left him. Lindo used Ms Stewart’s mobile phone and Facebook page to mislead her family into believing that she had abandoned him and their two young children.
Lindo, a music teacher and band player, admitted manslaughter but denied murder. However, a jury at Bradford Crown Court rejected his claim that he lost his self-control after a row in which he falsely accused Ms Stewart of mistreating their young daughter. On 20th September 2011 the jury found him guilty of a murder described in court as “protracted and brutal”. Ms Stewart’s mother, Helen, and sister, Katie, wept in the public gallery as the jury returned its verdict.
On 21st September Lindo was sentenced to life imprisonment. The judge said he had revealed an “extraordinary and chilling lack of remorse”.
Michelle Colborne QC, for the prosecution, described Lindo as an “inveterate and accomplished liar” who was leading a double life when he killed Ms Stewart. Prosecutors said he put Ms Stewart’s family through “mental torture” as he deliberately damaged her reputation, suggesting she had deserted her young family for another man. Lindo posted a message on her Facebook profile saying she was having “fun in the sun”.
The jury heard that Lindo received great sympathy from Ms Stewart’s family. On Christmas Day Ms Stewart’s father, Robert (55) and sister Katie (26) visited the house to open presents, while her corpse was in the next room. Ms Colborne said that Ms Stewart’s family had been appalled when she failed to see her children over Christmas and missed her son’s first birthday. However, family members and friends became suspicious and the police were called. They searched the house and Ms Stewart’s body was found on 13th February 2011.
Lindo did not give evidence in the witness box, but described to police how he first strangled Ms Stewart and then, when she was still making noises, hit her with a child’s chair and tried to choke her with a belt. He dragged her down to the basement garage in a suitcase and finally killed her by stabbing her 12 times with a kitchen knife. The court heard he then stored her body in a flight bag in the garage.
The court heard that Lindo and Ms Stewart met at university, when he was studying music and she was studying health and community studies. She was at that time married to Martin Waldron, but the relationship broke down and by 2007 she and Lindo were living together and she was pregnant. They had a daughter in October 2007 and a son in January last year.
Jurors were told that Lindo was seen by friends and family as a doting father in a “perfect little family”. However, Lindo had had a series of affairs with several women and brought his latest lover, Angela Rylance, to the house just hours after the murder. The court heard that he would pretend he was a struggling single father living alone when women called.
Angela Rylance (29) described how she started a relationship with Lindo in August 2010 after he cashed a cheque in the money shop in Barnsley where she worked as a cashier. She said she began to doubt the defendant’s claim to be a single father, but he reassured her by telling her that Ms Stewart had left their children with him.
The murder happened on the first night Ms Rylance had been due to spend the night. After cleaning the scene he woke the children and drove to pick up Miss Rylance as arranged. Ms Rylance said she spent Christmas with the family without realising Ms Stewart’s body was in the house. She commented “He said what a fantastic Christmas it had been – the best one ever,”.
After Ms Stewart’s murder it was reported that Lindo had also been sexually involved with a 15-year-old school girl, who was one of his music students. He was not charged with this.The allegation emerged after he had been charged with murder.
It was also reported that while Ms Stewart was pregnant with their second child, Lindo was simultaneously involved with two women colleagues, Alison Doram (27) and Amy Wilde (26). Ms Doram, a dance teacher, had a five-month sexual relationship with Lindo. She too believed Ms Stewart had walked out on him and the children. She said “Andrew was really friendly and easy to talk to, a charmer,” adding “I believed I was in a relationship with him exclusively.”
She saw Miss Stewart’s Facebook page indicating she was living with Lindo, but he convinced Ms Doram it was a “tactic” in a custody dispute over their daughter. However, Ms Doram ended their relationship after reading on Facebook that Miss Stewart’s status had been changed to “engaged to Andrew” on Valentine’s Day 2010. She then spoke to Ms Wilde and discovered she had also had a romantic relationship with Lindo.
Lindo showed no emotion when the verdict was announced. The judge commented that in the future any parole board would have to consider his “extraordinary cunning and facility for deceit”.
Note: This report was compiled from reports in The Times, The Independent and The Daily Mail.
Alami Gotip (22) was a young mother of two children. She died on 25th May 2011 after being stabbed more than 30 times in a frenzied attack at her home while her young children were asleep upstairs. Police found Ms Gotip’s body on the couch in the living room, having suffered multiple wounds to her neck and wrist.
Ms Gotip, of Nigel Rise, Livingston, West Lothian, worked at the Inland Revenue and was described in court as a “bubbly and out-going” person who loved life. The court heard she was a “caring and supportive” woman who helped to raise two of her siblings, who had health problems, and also helped to look after her mother.
In September 2011, Jamie Ellis (18) Ms Gotip’s former boyfriend appeared before the High Court in Edinburgh and admitted his guilt. Ellis, who is being held at Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution, now faces a life sentence.
At the time of the offence, unemployed Ellis had been in a relationship with Ms Gotip for seven months. Ms Gotip’s two young daughters were from a previous relationship with Neil Henderson and they remained close friends and shared childcare responsibilities. Ms Gotip and Ellis broke up several times during their relationship and he was said to be jealous of Ms Gotip’s continued relationship with Mr Henderson.
Ellis first claimed he ‘snapped’ because Ms Gotip had been “moaning at him because he had not made garlic bread for tea”. However, he later told police he felt their relationship was coming to an end and said: “I love her that much I can’t possibly imagine her with anyone else and I just thought f*** it.”
After the murder, Ellis, crying and with blood and cuts on his hand, was reported to have gone to his cousin’s house and told him: “I don’t know what I’ve done.” Immediately after the murder, Ellis was seen standing in the front garden covered in blood and holding two knives. He handed himself in after her body was found, reportedly telling police: “It’s not that I am a horrible person but s*** happens.”
Graeme Jessop, interim district procurator fiscal for Livingston, said it was a “particularly disturbing” crime. He said “Jamie Ellis stabbed Ms Gotip more than 30 times in the neck and chest, and inflicted multiple other injuries to her body with a knife”. He added “Mr Ellis committed this offence after taking a number of valium tablets and smoking several cannabis joints. The repercussions of this tragic incident will stay with both of Ms Gotip’s children for the rest of their lives.”
Susanne Tanner, prosecuting, told the court: “Two very young children have been left without their mother and, in the case of the deceased’s younger daughter, without any memory of her.”
After the hearing, Detective Inspector Phil Gachagan said: “The brutal violence Alami Gotip was subjected to prior to her death is testament to the violent and remorseless character of James Ellis. Despite being in a relationship with Miss Gotip and although her children were sleeping within the property, Ellis showed her no compassion during the attack and inflicted several serious injuries upon her. His guilty plea reflects the comprehensive work carried out by Lothian and Borders Police to build a murder case against him and he will undoubtedly face a lengthy prison sentence.”
Detective Inspector Gachagan added “I would like to thank Miss Gotip’s loved ones for all of their assistance and support during this investigation, and I sincerely hope that, following James Ellis’s sentencing, they can begin to move on with their lives.”
After the death, her mother, Karen McKenna, told police that Alami was her “best pal”. She said “She’s a loss that can never, ever be replaced. She shouldn’t have been taken away from me. I loved her so much, she was a big part of my heart. I don’t know how I am going to go on without her.”
Judge Lord Glennie called for reports and deferred sentencing until 5 October at the High Court in Glasgow.
Note: This report was compiled from reports in the Edinburgh Evening News, Sky News, BBC News and the Metro
Linda Bakewell (45) was a successful solicitor, a director at Liverpool law firm Armstrong Solicitors. She died by asphyxiation on 19th or 20th November, 2010.
On 19th September 2011 at Chester Crown Court, Philip Martins (48), a machine operator of Somerford Walk, Widnes, Cheshire, went on trial charged with her murder.The court heard that Ms Bakewell’s body was found “naked, scraped and bruised” in the boot of Martins’ car days after she was last seen alive meeting him in a bar. Martins denies murder and says that Ms Bakewell accidentally died while performing consensual oral sex.
He claims he then panicked and did not know what to do with her body.
Anne Whyte QC, for the prosecution told the jury that it was “ beyond all doubt” that Ms Bakewell did not die as Martins had said. Ms Whyte said “She died because he manually and deliberately stopped her from breathing.” This could only be caused by compression of the neck or nose and mouth, or a combination of both, Ms Whyte said. A post mortem examination concluded that Ms Bakewell died of asphyxiation and also found she had suffered impact injuries to her head while she was still alive, the court was told.
Ms Bakewell, was described by witnesses as a “quiet, modest woman with a love for life”. Ms Whyte said she met Martins through mutual friends and that it was clear to everyone who knew them that the solicitor “really liked” him. However, Ms Whyte suggested he was “only too happy to take advantage of her affection and her wallet”. The court heard that only a week before her death, while Ms Bakewell was at a bar buying drinks, Martins referred to her as a “nuisance”. The jury heard from Ms Whyte that Martins would drink “quite heavily” and take cocaine, the effect of which was to make him “brasher, more obnoxious, boorish and self confident”.
It was reported that on the night of 19th November last year, Martins and Ms Backwell met in a pub in Widnes, then visited another pub before the solicitor drove herself and Martins to an isolated industrial estate where the car remained for one hour and 45 minutes. The prosecutor said “Our knowledge of what happened in that time is limited but what we do know is that Linda Bakewell was never seen alive again”.
The following day, a Saturday, Ms Bakewell failed to turn up to her parents’ house as planned and they became worried and contacted police. Ms Whyte said “She was almost certainly dead by then because it was so out of character for her to miss an appointment”.
Her sister went to her home and spent Saturday night there waiting for Ms Bakewell’s return.The barrister added: “While she was in the house, anxiously hoping and waiting, Linda’s naked corpse was lying under the kitchen table at Philip Martins’ home.”
Merseyside Police launched a missing persons inquiry and officers and her friends visited Martins’s house and asked if he had seen her. He said he had not, but five days after Ms Bakewell was last seen, on 25th November, police returned to Martins’ home and arrested him on suspicion of kidnap. The court heard that he then told officers: “She’s in the boot of my car.”
The jury heard that during interview, he told police he met Ms Bakewell in the early hours of 20th November and they drove to the industrial estate where she agreed to sexual activity. He said he noticed her head was slumped and thereafter realised she was dead. Ms Whyte said “He drove her back to his house and once he got there he dragged her body across the ground into the house and left her in the living room while he went to bed.
He accepts he made absolutely no attempt to resuscitate her and couldn’t explain why.”
Ms Bakewell’s body remained at the house for some days, being moved from the living room to the kitchen before Martins placed her in the boot of his car, the jury was told.
Ms Whyte told the jury: “Instead of doing what any person, in my view, would do and call for help he spent the next four days in callous indifference going about his business. We will never know what happened in those final moments before Linda Bakewell met her death.” She added “This death was no accident and, grimly, the evidence from the post mortem will prove that.”
Note: This report was compiled from reports in the Daily Mail, the BBC and Liverpool Echo.
A murder inquiry has been launched after two women were found dead at a house in Oxfordshire. A third woman was also injured and taken to hospital but her condition is not thought to be life threatening.
Police were called to the house in Ireton Court, Thame. A 21-year-old man was arrested in Thame Market Place shortly after the incident and taken to Abingdon police station.
Post-mortem examinations are due to take place to determine the cause of death but a police spokesman said the women appeared to have sustained stab wounds during the incident.
Senior investigating officer Det.Chief Inspector Joe Kidman, from Thames Valley Police, said: “We are in the early stages of our investigation.We have arrested a man on suspicion of murder. At this time it appears that all parties are known to each other and we are not seeking anyone else in connection with this case.We are working hard to establish the full circumstances of this incident and what led to the tragic deaths of these two women.”
A neighbour reportedly described hearing a commotion during the night.
Another neighbour, who declined to be named, said: “All the police have told us is that it’s a major incident. Neighbours are saying it is a domestic. I don’t know the people involved but Thame is a delightful town. It is a shock that something like this has happened here.”
Another neighbour, who also refused to be named, said: “There have been police here standing about but I’m keeping well out of it. It’s a very nice area and we have had no trouble in the time we have been living here.”
Note: This report was compiled from news reports from the BBC, the Independent on Sunday.
Dawn McKenzie (34) died on 24th June 2011. She is believed to have died from stab wounds at her flat in Deveron Crescent in Hamilton, Lanarkshire.
Dawn, who worked at Glenburn House Nursery in East Kilbride, was found at around 8pm. Neighbours ran to the home after hearing noises and tried in vain to save her. A nurse tried to stop the bleeding but Dawn died later in Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride.
Strathclyde Police said that a 13 year old boy has been charged in connection with the death. The teenager, who appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court, was remanded in custody.
Dawn’s family said her death had left them “devastated and numb with grief”.
They paid tribute to “a loving wife, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend” and said she would be “sadly missed by everyone who knew her”.
One of her colleagues said: “We are all devastated. Our thoughts go out to her family.”
One report referred to Dawn as a “trainee foster mother”.
Note: This report was compiled from reports from The Sunday Mirror, BBC News and the News of the World.