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Angela Best murder: Theodore Johnson’s minimum jail term extended by Court of Appeal

PUBLISHED: 18:39 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:06 09 March 2018

Murderer: Theodore Johnson. Picture: Met Police

Murderer: Theodore Johnson. Picture: Met Police

Archant

A man who killed three former partners including Angela Best has had his sentence increased at the Court of Appeal.

Angela Best was murdered by Theodore Johnson in Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park, in December 2016. Picture: Met PoliceAngela Best was murdered by Theodore Johnson in Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park, in December 2016. Picture: Met Police

Theodore Johnson brutally murdered 51-year-old Angela Best at his home in Dartmouth Park Hill after she ended their 20-year relationship and met another man.

He beat her with a claw hammer and strangled her with a dressing gown cord after she went to his flat to help him with a passport application in December 2016.

The 54-year-old had two previous manslaughter convictions after killing his wife in 1981 and another former partner in 1992.

He was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in January and ordered to serve at least 26 years behind bars for Miss Best’s murder.

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

But three senior judges ruled today that the sentence was “unduly lenient” and increased his minimum jail term to 30 years, following an application by solicitor general Robert Buckland.

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

After the hearing, Mr Buckland said: “This was a vicious and brutal 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 now seen fit to increase the prison term,” he added.

Ms Best met Johnson in the mid-1990s. He was convicted of separate manslaughters in 1981 and 1993. In 1997, he successfully applied for a conditional discharge from a hospital order imposed on hiim as part of the 1993 conviction.

One of the conditions was to tell authorities if he had entered into a relationship with a woman, something he failed to do for years.

Reacting to the sentence increase, Mary Mason – CEO of domestic violence charity Solace Women’s Aid – said: “We welcome Lord Justice Holroyde’s decision to ensure Theodore Johnson is never released from prison after being found guilty of murdering three partners. Solace Women’s Aid called on the Solicitor General to appeal the courts original lenient sentence as Johnson was a continued threat to the lives of women in north London.

“We must recognise that domestic violence continues to be a major threat to women’s lives. It is not a one off or minor incident, but usually an ongoing and sustained abuse by male perpetrators on those women they attempt to control through a range of means including extreme violence and murder,” she added.

For any women affected by the issues here call Solace Women’s Aid on 0800 802 5565 or visit solacewomensaid.org

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