Life in prison for violent ex who murdered mother of his child

David Palmer will spend at least 23 years behind bars for murdering Kerry Smith.

David Palmer will spend at least 23 years behind bars for murdering Kerry Smith.

First published in News

A Rowley Regis man who stabbed his former girlfriend to death with a kitchen knife just days after she expressed fears she would die at his hands has been jailed for life.

David Palmer "terrrorised" mother of one Kerry Smith and she was on the receiving end of "many" beatings during their on-and-off two year relationship.

The 29-year-old lived in a state of "abject terror" of Palmer who was described as "a man consumed with jealousy, with anger and with hatred."

She told police she was frightened for her life and in a letter she wrote that she feared that one day he would kill her or their daughter Samantha - now two and a half years old.

The letter detailed just how scared she was of 40-year-old Palmer who at the time was on bail for harassing her and the subject of a suspended prison sentence for assaulting her causing actual bodily harm.

Palmer killed Miss Smith after she told him he could not have access to their daughter. He lay in wait and stabbed her three times in broad daylight with witnesses saying he was laughing as he ran from the scene.

Judge John Warner ruled Palmer must stay behind bars for a minimum of 23 years.

He said the suspended sentence and harassment charge had done nothing to deter him adding: "It is not surprising she feared that one day you would kill her. It was a fear she expressed in those final days of her life."

He told Palmer it was clear he intended killing his ex-partner because she would not "bend to his overpowering will" with regards to access to Samantha.

Palmer, of Mincing Lane, Rowley Regis had admitted manslaughter but he denied murdering Miss Smith who was killed outside the Malt Shovel pub in High Street, Blackheath.

A jury of six men and six women retired for just 80 minutes to consider the evidence at the end of his three week trial before returning their unanimous guilty verdict.

The announcement from the jury foreman was met with applause from members of Miss Smith's family while Palmer showed no reaction.

Palmer did not give evidence in his defence but a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist called on his behalf told Wolverhampton Crown Court he had been suffering from a "severe psychological disorder."

The jury were told Palmer had problems functioning in the world from an early age and they could have reduced his ability to control himself - particularly when emotionally aroused or upset.

The Judge said a victim impact statement presented to the court by the victim's sister Sue Smith was "profoundly moving" and added Samantha would one day have to come to terms with the violent loss of her mother.

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