Man jailed for torturing mum-of-three to death after she 'laughed' off advances
4 February 2020, 23:02
A man who tied up and tortured a mum-of-three before slitting her throat in a "sexual sadistic" murder has been jailed for life.
Brendan Rowan-Davies, 29, killed 27-year-old Kelly-Anne Case at her home in Gosport, Hampshire, before setting fire to the property in the early hours of July 30 2019.
The court was told he committed the vile act because she had "laughed" at his advances.
He shook his head as the jury returned its verdicts at Winchester Crown Court, convicting him of murder and arson, and cries of "Yes" and gasps could be heard from the public gallery.
Sentencing him to serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars, Mr Justice Garnham said the murder had a "sexual sadistic motive".
He added: "She was vulnerable and defenceless. She was completely at your mercy and you showed her none."
Ms Case's mother, Caroline Tebb, said in a statement read to court that her daughter was "brutally and sadistically taken by a sick, vile excuse of a human being".
She added: "This oxygen thief has not only deprived me of a daughter but he also took a mother, a sister, an aunt, cousin, granddaughter and friend.
"Kelly was an attractive, young, straight-talking, independent woman. She will be sadly missed by those who truly knew her."
The court heard that Rowan-Davies had spent the night with a friend, Will Vallender, at Ms Case's home and the three had drunk vodka and taken cocaine.
Rowan-Davies, who has a learning disability with an IQ of 55, told the court that he said to Ms Case that he fancied her but "she just laughed".
He described how Ms Case and Mr Vallender went upstairs to a bedroom to have sex and he filmed them using his mobile phone through a gap in the door.
William Mousley QC, prosecuting, told the court that the two men left the house but Rowan-Davies returned alone and tortured and killed Ms Case, bound her hands with cable ties and set light to the house.
Her naked body was found by firefighters.
Mr Mousley said Rowan-Davies had "mutilated" the victim, and added of her wounds: "These have the appearance of someone wanting to control or coerce or terrify Kelly-Anne so perhaps she would do what she was being told."
Rowan-Davies, who has previous convictions for burglary, was seen to burn items of clothing and dispose of other items including women's underwear he had taken from Ms Case's home for his own "sexual titillation".
Mr Mousley said DNA matches to the defendant and the victim were found on some of the clothing and on one of the cable ties as well as a sample taken from Ms Case's body.
Detective Inspector Toby Elcock, of Hampshire police, said: "This was a horrific and planned attack on a young woman, and our thoughts remain with Ms Case's children, friends and family.
"The defendant's denials have meant that the people closest to Kelly have had to endure the stresses of the trial process, but I hope the verdicts returned by the jury today will help them start to move forward from this."