Man jailed for murdering ex-girlfriend with dumbbell in front of daughter

The 22-year-old struck his ex-partner with a dumbbell after she threatened to report him to police for assaulting her

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The Independent Online

A man has been jailed for life for beating his teenage ex-girlfriend to death with a dumbbell while in the presence of their young daughter.

Jack Wall, 22, murdered 19-year-old Amelia Arnold on 7 November 2012, after she ended their relationship because of his "consistent and persistent" abuse, a court heard.

She was discovered in woodland four days after being reported missing. A post-mortem examination revealed she died as a result of head injuries.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard that Wall used "terrifying force" as he attacked her in the home they shared in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, after she threatened to report him to police for assaulting her.

He fractured her skull by striking her with a dumb-bell. Fearing she was still alive, he then stuffed a sock into her mouth, the hearing was told.

Wall's uncle, Joseph Potter, described in court as a "seasoned criminal", then assisted his nephew in dumping Miss Arnold's body in a shallow grave in Travellers Lane, Hatfield.

Wall, of Hadrian's Walk, Stevenage, denied murder but was found guilty by a jury last week.

He bowed his head as he was jailed for 19 years, along with a four-and-a-half-year sentence for obstructing a coroner, to run concurrently.

Potter, from Sycamore Avenue in Bletchley, was jailed for two and a half years for assisting an offender and obstructing a coroner.

Judge Aidan Marron QC said: "You took a life. You also deprived your child of a devoted mother.

"It is my judgment that you subjected her to consistent and persistent physical and verbal abuse.

"It is my view that she was terrified of you... you sought to control not just her but everything about her.

"She saw sense and was determined to end the abusive relationship. Your response to that was to attack her.

"It took place in her home in the presence of her little child."

Additional reporting by PA