Triple-killer partner of EastEnders star will die in jail
The partner of former EastEnders actress Sian Blake will spend the rest of his life behind bars for brutally murdering her and their two young children.
Cannabis dealer Arthur Simpson-Kent received a "whole-life" sentence for killing Ms Blake (43) and their sons Zachary (8) and four-year-old Amon.
He killed them after the actress, who was terminally ill with motor neurone disease, planned to leave him and take the boys with her.
All three were repeatedly hit on the head before being stabbed in the neck or throat by Simpson-Kent (49), who painted over bloodstains to hide the slaughter at their bungalow in Erith, south-east London.
He then buried them in the back garden and told relatives and the police they had gone to see friends, before fleeing to his native Ghana.
There were tears in the public gallery at the Old Bailey yesterday as judge Mr Justice Singh said he had been left "in no doubt" that Simpson-Kent should receive the most severe punishment available for his "truly horrific" crimes on the night of December 14/15 last year.
The court had previously heard that Ms Blake's condition meant she would have been physically incapable of defending herself from a violent attack.
In a statement read outside afterwards, Ms Blake's family said "no sentence will bring them back" and called Simpson-Kent a "monster" who attacked them in a place "where they should have felt safe and secure".
"Arthur has robbed us of our dreams and aspirations, everything we wished for Sian and our precious boys," they said.
"He stood in the dock with a smirk on his face and showed no remorse."
The court had heard that Simpson-Kent told a psychiatrist after his arrest that he used a small axe to bludgeon his three victims unconscious before using a knife. Simpson-Kent told Dr Philip Joseph "something just snapped in me".
He added: "I felt as if I had just been pushed off a diving board and was falling."
As the impassive triple-killer looked on, the judge told the court Ms Blake, though depressed, had been "planning for the months ahead both in relation to her own interests and in relation to the boys' education".
He said: "In my judgment this was indeed a case where each murder involved a substantial degree of premeditation or planning."