UK woman sentenced to life for beheading her friend

UK woman sentenced to life for allegedly ;capitated her friend

DAY

An Australian woman was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for beheading her friend, in a trial in London whose verdict was broadcast live on television, which is extremely rare. 

Jemma Mitchell, 38, was convicted of the June 2021 murder in London of 67-year-old Deborah Chong. Two weeks after the murder, she had driven more than 200 miles by car to the southwest of England, where she left the decapitated and decomposed body of her victim in the woods.

She was given a life sentence with 34 years on Friday and the verdict was shown live on television, a first in England for a murder case involving a woman.

According to the Prosecution, Ms. Mitchell planned the assassination after becoming friends with Ms. Chong through attending her ward group.

She killed her victim after the latter refused to give her 200,000 pounds (about 230,000 euros) to finance repairs in her dilapidated house. She then wrote a false will to inherit Mrs Chong's property, estimated at 700,000 pounds (812,000 euros).

When Mrs Chong was reported missing, Mrs Mitchell initially claimed that she had gone to visit family “somewhere by the sea”. But Ms Mitchell had in fact already decapitated her victim and kept his remains in her garden, the prosecution had argued.

Trained in osteopathy, Jemma Mitchell boasted online that she was good at human dissection, but denied being linked to the murder of Ms Chong.

According to Judge Richard Marks, she has shown 'no remorse and is in total denial' regarding this 'deeply shocking' crime.

Jemma Mitchell was remained unmoved in her block of defendants when the judge declared her guilty on Thursday, while the family of the victim attended the verdict by videoconference from Malaysia.

This is only the second time that cameras are allowed to broadcast live a verdict in a criminal court, and the first time the accused is a woman.