A petty crook who "executed" a pregnant woman on her doorstep in a desperate bid to impress a "neighbour from hell" with whom he was besotted has been jailed for at least 30 years.
Thomas Hughes shot 22-year-old Krystal Hart twice in the head outside her flat in Battersea, south London, on Good Friday last year.
Ms Hart was embroiled in a long-running dispute with Angie Brewer, who lived in the flat downstairs and was, a jury at the Old Bailey heard, "an emotional bully" who was about to be issued with an Asbo at the time of the shooting.
Earlier that day Ms Hart's boyfriend, David Siveter, had jotted down the registration number of Hughes' car. Hughes, described by police as a "wannabe gangster" and a "Walter Mitty character" turned up later with a gun.
After the killing he was filmed hurrying away by the CCTV camera Ms Hart had installed to gather evidence for a county court hearing on the dispute.
Ms Hart, who had recently left her job as a temporary secretary in the then deputy prime minister John Prescott's office, was two months pregnant when she died.
Hughes, 41, was convicted of murder. Jailing him for life with a minimum term of 30 years, Judge Anthony Morris yesterday told him: "This was a ruthless execution by you and a truly evil act. You have a chilling lack of remorse for what you did.
"You told Angela Brewer after the shooting that you did it for her. It is a mark of your warped mentality that you should have taken the rantings of that demented woman seriously when she made threats and thought you would curry favour with her by carrying out those threats yourself."
Judge Morris said he agreed with the prosecution that Ms Brewer was the "neighbour from hell" but said she was horrified by the murder. Fearing reprisals, Ms Brewer, 53, has since been re-housed.Reuse content