London

Man jailed over 'ferocious' Brixton stabbing murder

  • 24 March 2015
  • From the section London
Keisha McKenzie
Image caption Brooks' ex-wife, Keisha McKenzie, was fatally stabbed in the attack

A man who killed his ex-wife and seriously injured two other women, including his ex-girlfriend, in a "ferocious stabbing spree", has been jailed for life.

Desmond Brooks, 42, stabbed the three women, two while children were present, in Brixton, on 29 July 2013.

Brooks, a Jamaican national, told his victims they were "nagging" and disrespecting" him.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 29 years, at the Old Bailey.

Brooks pleaded guilty to murdering Keisha McKenzie, 28, and sentenced to 19 years for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend Joan Wade, then aged 46.

He also received 12 years for inflicting grievous bodily harm on his sister-in-law, who was 17 at the time. He attacked the three women over the course of 35 minutes, the court heard.

Brooks said to his ex-girlfriend: "You think I'm playing? I'm going to kill you.". He then attacked her as she lay on the sofa in a flat they shared, in front of a child.

Ms Wade fled to her balcony, where neighbours and passers-by watched him chopping and slashing at her with a meat cleaver and a kitchen knife.

Image caption Desmond Brooks will be deported to Jamaica after serving his sentence

Two of her fingers were chopped off as she tried to protect herself and her lip and tongue were sliced through.

Afterwards, armed with another knife, Brooks went to the nearby house of his ex-wife.

As she answered the door, he began stabbing her. She died at the scene from 42 separate injuries, a post-mortem examination showed.

Ms McKenzie's 17-year-old sister jumped on his back and tried to stop him and then locked herself in the bathroom with a child who was screaming.

'Truly appalling'

Judge Stephen Kramer heard Brooks, who has 10 convictions for cannabis offences since he arrived in the UK in 2002, then battered the bathroom door down and stabbed her repeatedly in the head.

Later that evening, he got on a bus and asked the driver to flag down the first police he saw. He told police: "I want to hand myself in. I killed my wife. I cannot take it any more."

Judge Kramer said: "Over the period of about an hour, you engaged in a stabbing spree properly said to be of extreme violence and ferocity.

"The catalogue of injuries inflicted is truly appalling."

He said the two surviving women had been left permanently disfigured.

Following the trial, the family of Ms McKenzie and her sister said they were "satisfied to finally have some justice".

They added: "We have lost Keisha forever but no amount of years will bring back the loving mother and bubbly, smiley daughter, auntie and sister that we all knew and loved."

Brooks pleaded not guilty to attempting to murder his ex-wife's sister but guilty to an alternative charge of grievous bodily harm.

All sentences will run concurrently.

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