Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on May 2nd 2021, we have remembered 56 women, the last being Beverley Robinson, 42, who was murdered in February 2017 by her partner Mark Minott.
Today we go back to October 2015 when Usha Patel lost her life. The BBC reports
A man has admitted murdering a single mother he met on a dating website in a drunken rage. Miles Donnelly, 35, strangled Usha Patel, 44, at the home she shared with her five-year-old son in Cricklewood, northwest London, in October. He stabbed her 16 times in the stomach, punched her head and injured her mouth as he attempted to stop her screaming.
The Old Bailey heard he then went on to assault a second woman, Rosie Ferrigno, causing her actual bodily harm. The court heard Ms Patel's body was discovered the next day when her son's grandfather arrived to pick him up and was told she was still sleeping.
Her battered body was found amid drink bottles and glasses. She had been particularly vulnerable as she was undressed at home expecting to have sex with Donnelly when he attacked her, the jury was told. Donnelly, from Paddington in west London, had a lifestyle of drink and drugs and a long criminal history, the court heard.
He had denied murder and actual bodily harm but changed his plea on the first day of the trial. The Met said three days after Ms Patel's murder, Donnelly telephoned the police and told them where he was. Officers then arrested him for murder.
Det Insp James Stevenson said: "Donnelly declined to answer any questions put to him during his police interviews and has never offered any information as to why he assaulted and killed Usha Patel that night. "Usha's family are completely devastated."
The Sun also took up the story saying this:
Judge Rebecca Poulet QC sentenced the murderer to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 23 years after Donnelly admitted murder and causing actual bodily harm.
She said: “In my assessment, this case is a stark warning to anyone who plans to meet someone following limited internet contact. That meeting must take place in a public place until one person feels they know something of the other. She was clearly anxious to meet a new partner but she paid for that invitation with her life.”
She added: “However, it is clear there was mental and physical suffering inflicted on the victim before death. We, and her family, will never know why you did this terrible act.”
Donnelly has a string of convictions for threatening and abusive behaviour, possession of a knife, criminal damage, robbery, racially aggravated assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an attack on a prison officer, battery, and other acquisitive crimes.
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph