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Joe Storey to be sentenced today for murder of Norwich mother Kerri McAuley

PUBLISHED: 10:30 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:22 20 June 2017

Joe Storey. Picture: Facebook

Joe Storey. Picture: Facebook

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A Norwich man is due to be sentenced today after being found guilty of murdering his former partner following a “sustained and brutal” attack in her own home.

Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.

The body of Kerri McAuley, 32, was found at Southalls Way, Norwich, on Sunday, January 8.

Norwich Crown Court heard the mother-of-two suffered 19 separate injuries to her face, including fractured eye sockets, cheek bones and jaw following a sustained attack.

Her on-off partner Storey, 27, formerly of Murrells Court, Norwich, is set to be sentenced this morning after a jury took less than an hour to convict him of the brutal murder.

As previously reported Storey should have been sentenced on Friday, but the hearing had to be adjourned after he did not attend.

Norwich Crown Court was told Storey was not present after he told Bedford Prison that he need not attend and could appear via videolink instead.

Simon Spence QC, who prosecuted the case, said the situation was “completely unprecedented” in his 32 years as a barrister and insisted he was “flabbergasted” at the “incompetence” shown by officials at HMP Bedford and felt “utter disbelief” they had taken the word of a prisoner.

Speaking after the adjournment on Friday Mr Spence said: “I’m horrified to be honest of what’s happened.”

He added: “I find it bewildering that a prison, knowing they are holding a prisoner convicted of murder, knowing he was due to be sentenced took it upon themselves not to produce him simply because the prisoner says so.

“It’s clearly a very difficult case. Any domestic murder is harrowing for the loved ones of the person who dies and when something happens that affects the expectations of the family then of course it simply adds to the sense of loss and grief and they, from their perspective, see that the defendant is able to manipulate a process which should be protecting them and putting their interests in a proper perspective and that hasn’t happened because of the prison’s failings today.”

The Ministry of Justice confirmed a prisoner from HMP Bedford failed to attend court on Friday, June 16.

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