Brutal killer jailed for life after knifing the generous 'parents' who took him in

A FORMER soldier has been jailed for life for murdering a popular Camden Town grandmother who treated him like her own son

A FORMER soldier has been jailed for life for murdering a popular Camden Town grandmother who treated him like her own son.

On Friday, a judge at the Old Bailey ordered Stuart Forsyth, 41, to spend a minimum of 19 years in prison for fatally stabbing Miriam Baldock and trying to kill her husband Maurice.

On the night of August 11 last year, Forsyth - high on a concoction of drink and drugs - crept into the couple's home on the Maiden Lane Estate, the court heard.

He knifed 60-year-old Mrs Baldock through the heart as she slept. Forsyth then turned the knife on her horrified 61-year-old husband. He only survived the attack after pretending he was dead.

The couple had taken in Forsyth and looked after him more than 20 years ago when he was on the run from the French Foreign Legion.

In passing sentence Judge Martin Stephens said: "The effect on Mr Baldock of your atrocious actions has been wholly devastating.

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"It has left him physically frail and, even more seriously, suffering the anguish and loss over the death of his beloved wife at a time when they had so much to look forward to together in their mature years.

"Nothing can begin to explain the enormity of your actions."

Forsyth, who became a train driver, had pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder.

He had walked away calmly from the scene before hitchhiking to Bodmin in Cornwall where he handed himself in to the police the next day, the court heard.

As he was led to the cells, Mr Baldock shouted: "You're a coward Stuart."

A statement from Mr Baldock, who was joined in court by his daughter Stephanie, was read out to the court.

He said: "Although Miriam died, he took my life away.

"It has destroyed me and my family. We were a loving family and did everything together.

"Now I cannot stand being with people and I have changed totally as a person.

"I have pushed away the people I love, believing my pain is worse and they do not understand.

"So many times I have wished Miriam lived and I had died or we had both gone together."

Relations between the Baldocks and Forsyth had become strained after the Scot became convinced the couple were working with social services to keep him away from his daughters, the court heard.

When police searched Forsyth's house in Stepney, they found a handwritten note entitled 'The last will and testament'. In it he had written: "I have been abused by people I trusted and loved, they have told lies about me... the Baldocks and social service.''

The Baldocks were well liked on the Maiden Lane estate.

Neighbours described them as the nicest people they had ever met.

Mrs Baldock had worked at Kentish Town fire station as a cook for 20 years.

Det Chief Insp Colin Sutton, from the serious crime directorate, led the investigation. He said: "Maurice is still absolutely devastated. He has not only suffered physical and psychological injuries but he has lost his wife.

"It was a dreadful and horrific crime - a couple stabbed in their own bed.