A man who murdered and dismembered a woman who went missing on a night out has been jailed for life and told to serve a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
Azam Mangori, 24, killed Lorraine Cox, 32, in his room above an Exeter kebab shop in September last year.
Passing sentence at Exeter Crown Court, Mr Justice Garnham said Mangori had suffocated Miss Cox with a T-shirt she had been wearing, which was later found in her mouth.
The Iraqi national cut her body into seven pieces over the course of a week and disposed of her clothing and possessions in bins and woodland.
The judge told him: “Rather than reporting her death to anyone, you kept her decomposing body in your bedroom for the next eight days.
“You purchased the necessary equipment from nearby shops and then set about cutting up her body with a view to disposing of it.
“You disarticulated her arms at the shoulder, her upper legs from her pelvis, and her lower legs from the knees.
“With the exception of her left lower leg and her kneecaps, you wrapped all her limbs in black plastic bin liners and dumped them unceremoniously in the waste bins behind the restaurant in anticipation of them being removed by council refuse collectors.
“Her lower left leg and kneecaps have never been recovered.
“Then on September 8, you placed her torso and head in a large plastic holdall and took it by taxi to Tinpit Hill on the outskirts of the city where you buried it beneath bracken and branches.”
The judge said Mangori’s intention at the time of spotting a drunken Miss Cox walking home in the early hours of September 1 was to “pick her up” for a sexual encounter.
They went back to his room above the Bodrum Kebab House where they had sex at least once.
“Exactly what happened next will not be known unless you choose to tell it,” the judge said.
“It is clear that something happened in your bedroom that caused you to decide to kill Lorraine Cox by suffocating her.
“By the time you attacked Miss Cox she was hugely incapacitated by drink and as a result you were able to push that vest into her mouth and suffocate her without significant opposition.
“With Miss Cox dead on your bed, you then set out to deceive her friends and family as to her whereabouts and her fate. You impersonated her on a number of social media platforms.”
After the murder, Mangori, a failed asylum seeker from Iraq liable to deportation, used her SIM card in his mobile phone to pretend that she was alive and well to family and friends. But they reported her missing to police.
“I find it as a fact you had not planned this killing in advance, and I reject the prosecution’s earlier suggestion that you had gone out that night looking for a victim to kill and whose limbs you could later amputate,” the judge said.
“I find as a fact that you killed Miss Cox as a result of events in your room that night and your reason for this gruesome means of disposing of Miss Cox’s body was simply to avoid the detection of what you had done.
“You also mutilated Miss Cox’s body, cutting her forehead, tearing off large parts of the flesh from her back and stripping off the skin of her lower arm.
“The purpose of that mutilation is clear was to remove a tattoo which might have helped identify her. We can only guess at the purpose of the former mutilations.”
The judge added: “By your actions, Mr Mangori, you ended the life of a bright, vivacious, intelligent young woman with her whole life ahead of her.
“Your cowardice in failing to report her death and attempting to hide the evidence of your crimes served to compound the loss and hurt suffered by her partner, her father, her other family and her friends.
“They suffered eight days of desperate hope and fruitless searching while you sat on your bed deciding how best to escape being held responsible for Miss Cox’s murder by amputating and mutilating Miss Cox’s body.”
Mangori, of no fixed abode, was found guilty by a jury of murder following a four-week trial.
He had previously admitted a separate charge of preventing Miss Cox’s lawful burial.