Lecturer who killed 'friend' jailed for life

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The Independent Online

A university psychology lecturer who killed a young colleague because he was suicidal and wanted a "friend in the afterlife" was sentenced yesterday to life imprisonment.

A university psychology lecturer who killed a young colleague because he was suicidal and wanted a "friend in the afterlife" was sentenced yesterday to life imprisonment.

Steven Reid, 34, who had spent years struggling against loneliness and depression, battered Elizabeth Stacey, 24, about the head with a rolling pin he had bought to commit the attack. After being hit seven times, the psychology laboratory technician lay dying from multiple skull fractures and extensive facial injuries, Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court in London was told.

Reid then turned the light out, locked the door of thelittle-used research facility at Westminster University he had chosen for the killing, and left her to die. By the time Ms Stacey's body was discovered the next day, Reid had attempted suicide in a bid to join her. When that failed, he went on the run.

Reid, who was born in Edinburgh and lived in Marylebone, central London, was arrested in Brighton less than two weeks after the killing.

Two months ago, he was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility. As Ms Stacey's family watched from the public gallery yesterday, Judge Fabyan Evans told Reid he had a grave personality disorder. "I have no doubt that the only sentence I can pass is one of life imprisonment," the judge said.

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