Essex

Jordan Taylor trial: Guilty verdict in Laura Davies murder

Laura Davies Image copyright Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society
Image caption Laura Davies lived and worked at the Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society

A man who stabbed his girlfriend 80 times in a "brutal" attack fuelled by "jealous rage" has been convicted of her murder.

Laura Davies, 21, was attacked near the Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society base in Basildon, where she lived and worked.

Jordan Taylor, 22, of Basildon, denied murder but was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Miss Davies had ended their relationship moments before her death.

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Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Jordan Taylor told the court "things started to become foggy" after he stabbed Miss Davies twice in the stomach

During an eight-day trial, Taylor told the court he stabbed Miss Davies twice in the stomach after she "pulled a knife" on him.

He said he had been trying to defend himself when she began punching and kicking him, and he stabbed her "so the attack would stop".

But he told the court he could not remember most of the attack and had denied murder.

Afterwards, he was found hiding in bushes near her body and was arrested and later charged.

The weapon, a kitchen knife, had been used with such force it was bent to a 45-degree angle.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption The attack was so forceful that the knife used was bent to a 45-degree angle
Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Laura Davies' family said she had "a passion for animals"

Police said the pair had been together since December 2014 and Taylor had moved into the flat which came with Miss Davies' job as a groom at the sanctuary.

On the evening of the attack on 3 July last year, she had told friends she planned to end the relationship.

A member of the public reported seeing a man stabbing a woman, and police were called to the sanctuary in Pitsea Hall Lane at about 20:15 BST.

Miss Davies died later that night at Basildon Hospital.

Speaking after the verdict, Punam Malhan, senior district crown prosecutor for the East of England Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a vicious and sustained attack involving 80 separate wounds.

"Jordan Taylor's actions were a result of a jealous rage after Laura ended their relationship."

Image copyright Essex Horse & Pony Protection Society
Image caption Miss Davies worked as a groom at the sanctuary

In a statement, Miss Davies' family said: "Through Laura's death the world has lost an amazing person and our lives will never be the same without her.

"Laura was a loving, caring person, who didn't have a bad bone in her body.

"She is greatly missed and will always be in our hearts and never forgotten."

Judge Charles Gratwicke told Taylor he should "expect to receive a substantial sentence".

"You have been found guilty of a brutal and vicious killing," he said.

Taylor will be sentenced on Friday.

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