Birmingham & Black Country

June Jones murder: Ex-boyfriend jailed for life

Michael Foran Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Moran will serve a minimum of 17 years behind bars

The ex-boyfriend of a woman found dead in the bath of her flat five days after being reported missing has been jailed for life for her murder.

June "Katie" Jones, 33, was found wrapped in a rug in her West Bromwich flat on New Year's Eve. A knife had been placed on top of her body.

Her ex-partner of eight years, Michael Foran, 33, was jailed for a minimum term of 17 years.

He shouted "I'm sorry" to his victim's family as he was led from the dock.

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Foran, of no fixed abode, changed his murder plea to guilty on the day he was due to give evidence during his trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

He had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter before asking the court clerk to put the murder charge to him again on Friday.

The court heard Ms Jones had been killed around 10 December but was only discovered on 31 December after she was reported missing by her sister on Boxing Day.

Image copyright West Midlands Police/Family handout
Image caption The court heard that Foran had been June Jones' partner for eight years

His Honour Judge James Burbidge QC told the court Foran had strangled Ms Jones with such force he damaged her voicebox, before he stabbed her in the neck and chest.

"You left her to die without dignity, without compassion, in the bath. Only you and she know how this came to be but she is not in a position to tell anyone.

"She was vulnerable and in no position to counter an attack on her. There were no defensive injuries on her body.

"What sparked that attack I do not know."

In a statement released by police, Ms Jones' family said: "Today, justice has been done for our beloved Katie.

"Finally, Michael Foran faced up to the gravity of the overwhelming evidence against him, forcing him to plead guilty to Katie's murder."

Moran was arrested in Liverpool after being found begging on the streets with a dog.

Co-accused Keith O'Dwyer, 35, of Camberley House, West Bromwich, also changed his plea, admitting assisting Moran to travel to Liverpool. He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment for assisting an offender.

West Midlands Police had referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) over the case. The police watchdog said it had handed the matter back to the force to investigate.

Det Insp Nick Barnes, from the force's homicide team, said: "Katie was murdered in the most horrific circumstances. The level of violence used by Foran was despicable.

"I hope his acknowledgement of guilt offers some comfort to Katie's family, who have been extremely brave throughout this traumatic time."

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Foran was found in Liverpool after the killing

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