Man jailed for murdering woman in burning flat in Leicester

Image source, Leicestershire Police
Image caption,
The judge described Curtis Moyse's actions as "both sexual and sadistic"

A man has been jailed for the rape and murder of a woman whose body was found in a burning flat.

The body of Leah Fray, 27, was found by firefighters responding to a blaze in Mere Road, Leicester, in April.

Curtis Moyse, 18, of Avonside Drive, Leicester, was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 20 years and 10 months.

Leicester Crown Court heard he raped and murdered Ms Fray the day before his 18th birthday.

Police said Moyse was traced after his fingerprints were found on a bottle at the scene.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Leah Fray was described be her family as a "beautiful young lady"

On Monday, Moyse admitted manslaughter with diminished responsibility but this was not accepted by the prosecution and he changed his plea to guilty of murder on Wednesday. He also pleaded guilty to rape and arson.

The court was told Ms Fray was tied up, beaten and strangled before Moyse set fire to the flat in an attempt to destroy evidence.

David Herbert QC, prosecuting, said "the final minutes of Leah Fray's life would have been both terrifying and painful".

Ms Fray's family read out a statement which described her as a "beautiful young lady" and a "high achiever at school with dreams of going to university".

Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: "You killed in circumstances that in my view were both sexual and sadistic.

"Her death was a protracted event during which her suffering must have been quite dreadful."

Det Ch Insp Michelle Keen said: "This was a horrific and brutal murder of a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her."

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