A man who murdered a woman in her own flat in Tower Hamlets has been jailed.
Ian Kerr, 36, (10.08.82), of no fixed address, was charged on Tuesday, 14 May with murder of 50-year-old Linda McArity, and two counts of fraud.
He was sentenced today at the Old Bailey to a minimum of 17 years for murder and eight months for the two counts of fraud, to be served concurrently.
A charge of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body was left to lie on file.
The court heard that police attended Linda’s address in Salisbury House, Hobday Street E14 at around 23:20hrs on 30 December 2018, after concerns were raised for her welfare.
Linda was found unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
A special post-mortem examination was held on Friday, 4 January at Poplar Public Mortuary with a provisional cause of death given as compression to the neck.
Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command began an investigation.
Kerr, who had stayed intermittently at her address, was identified as having used Linda’s bank card after she had died at a post office in Roman Road, withdrawing a total of £360 in two separate transactions.
He was arrested in January and initially admitted the fraud, but denied killing Linda.
He later pleaded guilty to murder, telling police that he had taken the synthetic drug ‘Spice’ on the day he attacked Linda. He feared that that Linda would tell his girlfriend and that this might prevent him from seeing his young daughter.
Linda was brutally attacked and left to die before Kerr fled the scene.
Linda’s sister, Donna, later contacted police after she was unable to reach her.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, investigating, said: “Linda was a vulnerable woman who had allowed Kerr to lodge at her address on and off out of the goodness of her heart.
“She was defenceless, in ill health and Kerr’s attack was both ferocious and sustained; she stood little chance of survival against his violent outburst. She leaves behind a devastated family, including a sister with whom she was very close, who is still struggling to come to terms with her death.”
+ A 62-year-old man and a 46-year-old man who were arrested in January on suspicion of murder and subsequently bailed were later released with no further action.