Great Britain

Kelly-Anne Case murder: Man tortured and killed mother-of-three after she 'laughed' at his advances

A man who tortured a mother-of-three before slitting her throat and setting her house on fire has been found guilty of her murder.

Brendan Rowan-Davies killed Kelly-Anne Case at her home in Gosport, Hampshire, last summer.

He has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years. Sentencing him, Mr Justice Garnham said the murder had involved a “sexual sadistic motive” and added: “She was vulnerable and defenceless. She was completely at your mercy and you showed her none.”

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

The sadistic murder took place after Rowan-Davies and a friend had visited Ms Case’s home on 30 July, drinking vodka together and taking cocaine.

The 29-year-old told the court he had said to the victim that he “fancied her”, but that she had laughed at him and gone upstairs to have sex with his friend instead.

Rowan-Davies, who has learning difficulties and had an intermediary helping him throughout the trial, then said he tried to film the couple on his mobile phone through a crack in the door.

The two men later left 27-year-old Ms Case’s house in Gosport but the killer returned alone an hour later, jurors were told.

He bound the mother-of-three, whose children had earlier been removed by social services, and tortured her with a knife before cutting her throat.

Prosecutor William Mousley QC said Rowan-Davies had “mutilated” his 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 caught on CCTV on a bus on his way to Ms Case’s home before the murder (Hampshire Constabulary)

Mr Mousely told the jury the attack was sexually motivated and at least eight of the shallow knife gashes to her neck were inflicted while Ms Case was still alive.

After the murder, Rowan-Davies set the house of fire, leaving the scene and his victim’s naked body to be discovered by firefighters dispatched to douse the blaze.

When the jury’s guilty verdicts on counts of both murder and arson were announced at Winchester Crown Court, Rowan-Davies simply shook his head, while gasps and cries of “Yes” could be heard from the public gallery.

The defendant had denied any involvement, despite his DNA being found on the cable ties used to lash Ms Case to her own bed.

He claimed he returned to the house to collect some tobacco he had left and had disturbed another man in the act of killing the mother-of-three.

However, CCTV footage and witness testimony suggested he must have been at the house when the killing took place.

Later on the morning of 30 July Rowan-Davies was also seen to burn items of clothing he had taken from Ms Case’s home.

Additional reporting by Press Association