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Designer's killer boyfriend jailed


Nicholas Brooks was sentenced to 25-year-to-life for the murder of Sylvie Cachay

Nicholas Brooks was sentenced to 25-year-to-life for the murder of Sylvie Cachay

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Nicholas Brooks was sentenced to 25-year-to-life for the murder of Sylvie Cachay

An Oscar-winning composer's son was jailed for at least 25 years for murdering his fashion designer girlfriend, capping a saga of a one-hit-wonder father and an aimless son - both accused of seriously abusing women.

Nicholas Brooks, whose father Joseph wrote the 1970s touchstone song You Light Up My Life, was given the maximum 25-year-to-life sentence by a judge in New York for the murder of Sylvie Cachay.

Brooks, 27, and Ms Cachay had a tumultuous six-month relationship, bolstered by obvious affection but hampered by differences in age, attitude and ambition, the trial was told.

The liaison was laced with Brooks' jealousy and violence, prosecutors said - police once were summoned after he allegedly slammed Ms Cachay's head into a wall, though no charges were filed. Prosecutors said Brooks ultimately strangled Ms Cachay because she was leaving him.

Brooks' lawyer argued that Ms Cachay's December 2010 death was an accident and Brooks who plans to appeal, told the court it was "the most devastating thing that has ever occurred in my life". "I think about her every day, and it breaks my heart. I loved her very much, and not a moment goes by where I do not miss her," he said.

Joseph Brooks killed himself in 2011 while fighting charges of raping or molesting 13 would-be actresses.

Ms Cachay's relatives lashed out at Brooks and one of her brothers, Patrick Orlando, described him as "a cowardly liar, a parasite to our society, an abuser of women and a repulsive murderer".

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Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner said Brooks squandered his education and privilege.

Joseph Brooks won the Academy Award for best original song in 1977 for You Light Up My Life, sung by Debby Boone. He wrote and directed the romantic comedy of the same name, but then his career foundered.

Prosecutors said the songwriter lured women to his Manhattan apartment through an online ad offering movie auditions, then sexually assaulted them after making them drink apparently drugged wine for an "acting exercise". He pleaded not guilty. Four days after his suicide at 73, his former assistant pleaded guilty to criminal facilitation, saying she helped him meet 10 of the women.

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