Kirsty Humphrey murder: Mark Czapla jailed for life

Kirsty Humphrey Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kirsty Humphrey died from stab wounds to her neck and chest

A "paranoid and aggressive" man who stabbed his former partner to death has been jailed for life for her murder.

Mark Czapla, 25, was triggered by jealousy when he attacked 23-year-old Kirsty Humphrey in their living room in Colchester, on 4 September, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Czapla, a groundsman, had denied murder but was convicted on Wednesday.

Sentencing Czapla to a minimum term of 23 years, Judge Christopher Ball QC described him as an "emotional bully".

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Mark Czapla abused cocaine, the court heard

He said the killer was "obsessively jealous with a controlling nature" and his "paranoia and aggression was fuelled by his abuse of cocaine".

The court heard the couple had a tempestuous relationship, with Czapla convinced Miss Humphrey was seeing someone else.

He stabbed her to death, then fled the house.

Speaking on Wednesday, Det Ch Insp Simon Werrett said: "He is a coward.

"He would not even come into the court to hear the evidence against him."

He elected not to give evidence at his trial.

Miss Humphrey's mother Nicky Humphrey and stepfather Michael Plane described her as a "beautiful person who was happy and always smiling".

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