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Drug user who killed girlfriend and chopped up her body jailed for 28 years

Dean Lowe had denied murdering Kirby Noden and claimed she had left him for another man.

A drug user who brutally murdered his partner by beating her to death with a metal pole before “obliterating” her remains and disposing of them in bins and a toilet has been jailed for at least 28 years.

Dean Lowe denied harming Kirby Noden despite admitting to family members and a police officer that he had killed her and disposed of her body.

He was found guilty of murder on Thursday following a trial at Truro Crown Court.

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Kirby Noden died in January 2017 (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

On Tuesday at Exeter Crown Court, Lowe, 33, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 28 years, minus 361 days spent on remand, for beating his 32-year-old partner to death at their basement flat in Marazion, Cornwall.

Sentencing him, Mrs Justice May said nobody would ever know the details of what happened to Ms Noden, because there was “no body to reveal the extent of your deadly abuse”.

She said: “This was a pitiless attack on someone who had done nothing but love you devotedly.”

The court previously heard how the murder took place some time in January 2017.

Ms Noden’s disappearance remained unexplained until Lowe’s family raised the alarm after receiving disturbing messages from him on May 17, saying there had been a body on the floor which he had cut up and disposed of in bins and down a toilet.

Mrs Justice May said Lowe’s later claim that Ms Noden had left him for another man and was alive and well but living under the radar added to his “cowardice and cruelty”.

“Your lies about her are the very opposite of remorse, you have never once expressed any regret for all that you have done,” she said, adding that after the murder Lowe had left Ms Noden’s “bloody corpse” where it lay for several days.

She said: “You must have eaten, slept, watched TV and taken your drugs next to it for several days, with two bull terriers in the same room.

“Over a weekend before the bin men came on Monday, you cut up what remained, wrapped some in the carpet and took the rest in rucksacks to the bins.

“The bin men collected them noticing nothing – in this bleak, desolate manner was Kirby’s life ended and her remains obliterated.

“No-one there to mourn or say goodbye.”

In messages to a cousin Lowe said: “Either I’m getting set up or I’ve murdered Kirby. I had a blackout, hazy memory and woke up with a body on the floor. I am scared so I just got rid.

“I put the body in the bins down the road. I remember the binmen finding all the meat and didn’t know what it was. The carpet was lifted because of the body matter.

“It took a week to get rid of the body, it was horrible.”

In the four months from mid-January when Ms Noden died to mid-May when the police were alerted, Lowe lived alongside the gruesome evidence of what he had done.

When an officer attended the flat on Beacon Road on May 18, Lowe confessed, saying there was blood on the floor and that he had to cut up the carpet because of the blood and guts.

He added that he had made a necklace out of Ms Noden’s teeth.

Mrs Justice May said the officer must have been “truly shocked” by what he discovered when he went into the flat using only the light from a pocket torch because the electricity was not on.

“There was blood spatter from floor to ceiling all over the walls to the left on entering the bedroom,” she said, adding that there were also what was later determined to be “impact” and “cast off stains” in the room, and the underside of the mattress had two large blood stains.

Lowe had turned it over and continued sleeping on top of the evidence of Ms Noden’s murder.

Investigators who searched the property also found the metal pole and rock Lowe used in the attack – the latter had fractured into pieces due to the force of the blows.

After his initial confession, Lowe denied murdering Ms Noden and instead claimed she had left him for another man.

He told jurors she had set him up by spraying her own blood around the flat.

Officers investigated the man Lowe claimed Ms Noden was with, but found no evidence he existed.

Nor did their  inquiries with her family, with various government agencies and examination of social media turn up any  evidence to support the contention she was still alive.

Mrs Justice May said she commended the officers “most highly” for their “long and painstaking” investigation.

The court heard the couple, originally from Winsford in Cheshire, started a relationship aged around 25, and lived in Torquay together before moving to west Cornwall.

Their lives together had been chaotic and Lowe described in his evidence how they would take whatever drugs they could get and when they had no drugs would blood let for the headrush.

Mrs Justice May added: “By all accounts Kirby was besotted with you, following wherever you went, doing whatever you asked her to do.

“She described you as the love of her life. You, on the other hand, spoke of her as ‘that skanky bitch’.”

She also concluded that Lowe, of Beacon Road, Marazion, was not mentally ill when he killed Ms Noden and added: “I am quite sure that although you habitually took drugs, and a great deal of them, you were entirely sentient when you murdered Kirby.

“I regard you as wholly culpable.”

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