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Man gets life for Jessie murder

A man with learning difficulties who raped and strangled a 16-year-old girl after social services found they were "powerless" to deal with his anti-social behaviour has been jailed for life.

Zakk Sackett was able to continue terrorising the estate where he lived despite fears expressed in emails that he was "going to end up killing someone".

Woman-hating Sackett, 20, became obsessed with his friend Jessie Wright, a former convent schoolgirl, before attacking and strangling her while high on cannabis.

After being convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury he was jailed for life by Judge Timothy Pontius and told he must serve at least 25 years behind bars.

Before killing Jessie, Sackett had already been blamed for a wave of petty crime and yobbish behaviour around the flats where he lived with his grandmother in north London. But authorities found their attempts to kick him out were thwarted because of his learning difficulties.

A source said: "He was an absolute nightmare. He terrorised that estate. Since he has been banged up, the crime rate on that estate has plummeted. There are emails from social services saying if something's not done, that this boy is going to end up killing someone.

"They were powerless to do anything about it. They tried to get him evicted. They tried Asbos on him. They tried to get him help with all his behaviour problems. They worked with police, they tried everything. Solicitors ended up getting the eviction kicked out because they got psychological reports."

Sackett, of Outram Place, Islington, claimed in court that he and Jessie had consensual sex on the night she died, and that he accidentally killed her while he had her in a headlock during a playfight.

There were loud cheers in the public gallery as the jury rejected his claims and convicted him unanimously of murder.

The court heard that Jessie had fought back from a serious brain illness in the months before she was killed. Her father Anthony Wright said in a victim impact statement: "There is a gap in all our lives that can never be filled."

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