Branston murders: Man jailed for killing mother and her partner

Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu had denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility

A man who strangled his mother and battered her partner with a hammer to see "how he would feel if he killed" has been jailed for at least 32 years.

Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu was convicted of the murders of Premm Monti, 51, and 71-year-old Robert Tully.

The couple were found dead at the family home in Branston, Lincolnshire, last August.

Simion-Munteanu, 22, was sentenced to life at Lincoln Crown Court.

He had admitted the killings but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

During the trial, Simion-Munteanu's defence team had claimed he was more likely than not suffering from a recognised medical condition at the time.

However, psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph, who assessed him, told the jury the killings were planned and Simion-Munteanu "wanted to test out this hypothesis about how he would feel if he killed".

When asked why he killed the couple, Simion-Munteanu told the court: "I thought that I am evil and if I did that I would be happy."

"You have to earn happiness. It doesn't come from nowhere. I could earn this happiness by doing evil."

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption Premm Monti and Robert Tully were found dead at a house in Branston in August

The court also heard Simion-Munteanu had used Mr Tully's car to travel around the UK for several days following the killings.

At one point he drove to Cardiff and stayed overnight in a Travelodge, visiting a nearby cinema to watch the Lion King.

He also visited Tintagel Castle in Cornwall before his arrest at Aberdeen airport.

Michael Auty, prosecuting, said: "The defendant immediately volunteered that he had killed his mother."

He placed an oven glove over the mouth of his mother, who was originally from Romania, and strangled her in her bedroom, Mr Auty said.

The following morning he lured Mr Tully, who was originally from the USA, into the kitchen and repeatedly hit him with a hammer.

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