Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Knife horror murderer is jailed for life

Family welcomes guilty verdict

THE killer of 21- year-old Monkstown woman Pamela Bennett had to be supported by a warder as he was jailed for life for her brutal stabbing.

THE killer of 21- year-old Monkstown woman Pamela Bennett had to be supported by a warder as he was jailed for life for her brutal stabbing.

An officer held on to the arm of 27-year-old Rathcoole man John Kerr yesterday as Mr Justice Pringle told him he'd been convicted of 'a most brutal nasty murder'.

Ms Bennett's semi-naked body was found by relatives in the living room of her Tynan Drive home in Monkstown on August 31 last year.

Kerr had met Pamela in a nearby club and the pair, who were drunk, were spotted kissing and cuddling as they waited for a taxi.

A cousin who later called to see if she'd arrived home safely, found the pair still kissing and hugging.

But something happened in the coming hours which only Kerr knows, for he brutally stabbed her ten times, leaving her semi-naked body for others to find.

When arrested Kerr claimed: 'See that wee girl, I never killed her. I went away and came back and she was dead'.

But it took a Belfast Crown Court jury of six men and six women less than an hour to reject his bogus claims and to unanimously convict him of murder.

Kerr, a separated father of one, said he left Pamela sleeping while he in his drunken stupor tried to make his way to his Ardmillan Drive home in Rathcoole.

He said he had fallen asleep by a phonebox and on awakening returned to her home, only to find her dead.

He tried to explain away his blood-soaked clothing by claiming they'd been stained while he attempted to revive her by giving her the kiss of life.

Pamela's relatives and friends, who cheered and wept with joy at the guilty verdict, said later they were 'delighted'.

Her 27-year-old brother David, in tears, said as far as the family were concerned it was the only one possible.

'We are deligted with the verdict, but as far as we are concerned, there could have been no other,' said Mr Bennett, who added: 'We can finally put this behind us and get on with our lives, but no matter what has happened it will not bring Pamela back.'

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