Holloway domestic violence charity helps get murderer Theodore Johnson’s ‘lenient’ life sentence increased

Murderer: Theodore Johnson. Picture: Met Police

Murderer: Theodore Johnson. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A Holloway domestic violence charity has helped to get serial killer Theodore Johnson’s life sentence increased after saying the 26-year term he was given was too lenient.

Johnson, 54, murdered his ex partner Angela Best, 51, in his Dartmouth Park Hill flat in December 2016 after she had ended their relationship of 20 years and met another man.

He beat her with a claw hammer and strangled her with a dressing gown cord after she went to his home to help with a passport application.

Johnson had two previous convictions for manslaughter after killing his wife in 1981 and another ex in 1992.

In January, he was jailed for life at the Old Bailey and locked up for at least 26 years.

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But Brewery Road organisation Solace Women’s Aid made a submission that the sentence was too lenient, leading to an appeal by solicitor general Robert Buckland.

Three senior judges ruled on Thursday that the sentence was in fact “unduly lenient” and increased Johnson’s minimum sentence to 30 years.

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Lord Justice Holroyde told the court: “We accept the submission of the solicitor general that the sentencing of Mr Johnson was unduly lenient.”

Mr Buckland said: “This was a vicious attack which ended in the tragic death of a woman. The offender is a danger to women and his crimes deserved tougher sentencing. I am pleased the court has increased the prison term.”

During his trial, the court had heard Ms Best met Johnson in the mid-1990s. She was unaware he had already been convicted two manslaughters in 1981 and 1993.

In 1997, he was given a conditional discharge from a hospital order as part of the 1993 conviction.

Mary Mason, CEO of Solace Women’s Aid said: “We welcome the decision to ensure Johnson is never released from prison after being found guilty of murdering three partners. We called on the solicitor general as Johnson was a continued threat to the lives of women.”

“We must recognise domestic violence continues to be a major threat to women’s lives.

“It is not a one off or minor incident, but usually a sustained abuse by male perpetrators on women they attempt to control through a range of means including extreme violence and murder.”

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