Life sentence for woman in 'fatal attraction' case: Divorcee recruited her 16-year-old son to murder love rival

A DIVORCEE with a 'fatal attraction and obsession' for her married driving instructor was jailed for life yesterday after being convicted of murdering her rival in love.

As she was taken to the cells at the Old Bailey, Rene Sampat shouted: 'I am not guilty of murder - I am guilty of love'.

Her 18-year-old son Roy Aziz, whom she recruited to kill Janet Marshall, was also convicted of murder. He was ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's pleasure. He was 16 at the time of the murder.

The court was told that Sampat, 37, had a passionate infatuation for Ancell Marshall, a driving instructor. But everything she tried to gain his affection failed, so 'she determined his wife should be murdered so he could be hers', Nigel Sweeney, for the prosecution, said.

Mrs Marshall, 36, a Sunday school teacher, was repeatedly stabbed and strangled at her home in north London in April 1991. Her husband was charged with the murder and held in custody for two months. He was refused permission to attend the funeral.

At his trial in February 1992, Sampat gave evidence for the prosecution, but he was cleared and a second inquiry began.

Judge Richard Lowry said yesterday: 'There should be further investigation into the first inquiry which led to an innocent man being charged with the murder of his wife.'

Graham Boal QC, for the defence, said Sampat was a 'woman who was obsessed to a point which could be described as mentally abnormal'.

He went on: 'You may think this has been realistically described as a fatal attraction and a fatal obsession.'

The court was told that the Marshalls, of Tottenham, were a happy couple who had a stable and loving relationship. Mr Marshall, 37, had two businesses - a driving school and a takeaway food shop - and was a home missionary at his Seventh Day Baptist church, acting as a counsellor.

But there was 'a shadow over them which had been there for some years - the activities of Rene, who was infatuated with Ancell. They had first met in 1985 when she was a pupil at his school,' Mr Sweeney told the court.

In her attempts to gain his affection, Sampat, a Muslim, joined the church where he worshipped, forced gifts on his children and went out of her way to impress the family.

Three times Sampat, of south Tottenham, claimed she had been raped, in an attempt to gain Mr Marshall's sympathy. She then 'took to writing poison pen letters designed to split the couple up', Mr Sweeney told the court.

One letter included a threat that Mrs Marshall would die within a year of the birth of her fourth daughter. Her death in 1991 came just a few days before the year was up.

After the case, Mr Marshall described Sampat 'a very, very evil woman'. He added: 'My feelings towards her now are that she is demonic, she is wicked. I believe she has been used greatly by the devil.'

Detective Superintendent Gavin Robertson, who led the second inquiry, said: 'I accept aspects of the first inquiry were wrong and we tried to right that wrong. We are big enough to accept that a mistake was made and to get on with setting it right.'

Mr Marshall said he was considering legal action.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot