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Tufnell Park murder: Serial killer admits strangling and beating ex-partner Angela Best to death in Dartmouth Park Hill

PUBLISHED: 13:29 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:44 02 January 2018

Murderer: Theodore Johnson. Picture: Met Police

Murderer: Theodore Johnson. Picture: Met Police

Archant

A serial killer this afternoon admitted murdering his ex-partner in Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park.

The house in Dartmouth Park Hill where Angela Best died. Picture: Léa LegraienThe house in Dartmouth Park Hill where Angela Best died. Picture: Léa Legraien

At the Old Bailey, 64-year-old Theodore Johnson pleaded guilty to murdering mother-of-four Angela Best, 51.

At his house in Dartmouth Park Hill on December 15, 2016, he beat her with a claw hammer and throttled her with a dressing gown cord.

After the attack, Johnson threw himself in front of an express train in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, but survived. He appeared in court today in a wheelchair.

Johnson killed Ms Best after their relationship broke down and she started seeing another man. The couple met in the mid-1990s after the victim moved to London from Manchester with her children.

It can now be reported Johnson had a history of violence towards women, having been twice convicted of manslaughter before.

In November 1981, he was convicted by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court of the manslaughter of his wife Yvonne Johnson. Following an argument, he hit the mother-of-two with a vase before pushing her over the balcony of their ninth floor flat in Wolverhampton.

Theodore Johnson murdered grandmother-of-four Angela Best at his house in Dartmouth Park Hill. Picture: Léa LegraienTheodore Johnson murdered grandmother-of-four Angela Best at his house in Dartmouth Park Hill. Picture: Léa Legraien

Then, in March 1993, he was convicted at the Old Bailey of killing his partner Yvonne Bennett, by diminished responsibility. The couple, who had a daughter together, had moved from Wolverhampton to Finsbury Park where Johnson strangled Ms Bennett.

He had originally denied Ms Best’s murder, and today was supposed to be the first day of a two-week trial. But Johnson had a change in heart when the charge was formally put to him in court.

Judge Richard Marks told jurors, who had just been sworn in: “It does sometimes happen – there’s been a change in position at the 11th hour. This was certainly very unexpected.

“He had originally admitted manslaughter of Angela Best, his sometime partner, on grounds of diminished responsibility.

“That was what the whole trial was going to be about. Very late in the day, there has been a change in heart.”

Johnson will be sentenced at the same court on Friday morning.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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