Essex

'Frenzied' killer jailed for Chelmsford murder

Colleen Westlake died from blunt force trauma and strangulation, a post mortem examination found Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Colleen Westlake died from blunt force trauma and strangulation, a post mortem examination found

A man who carried out a "frenzied" and "brutal attack" on a vulnerable couple has been jailed for life.

Craig Bird, of no fixed address, admitted murdering Colleen Westlake and causing serious injury to her husband Victor in Chelmsford in April.

He was told at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday he would serve at least 21 years in prison.

Judge Charles Gratwicke said Bird's "savagery" would "live forever" with the victims' family.

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Media caption'Life sentence won't bring my mum back'

The judge described what happened in the couple's Pines Road home as a "frenzied, sickening and brutal attack on a vulnerable couple".

The court heard how Bird, 32, continued the attack once police had arrived and even had to be CS sprayed by officers.

Talking about the victims' family, Judge Gratwicke added: "The effects of your savagery will live with them forever."

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Bird was jailed for life with a minimum of 21 years for killing Mrs Westlake

A post-mortem examination found 48-year-old Mrs Westlake died from blunt force trauma and strangulation.

Bird was jailed for 12 years for the offence against Mr Westlake, which was ordered to run concurrent with the sentence for murder.

Janet Hopkins, Colleen's sister, said no sentence would "make up for losing her".

"We cannot put into words what losing her in these circumstances has meant to us," she added.

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