29/11/2007

Tagged Early Release Criminal Killed Victim

A convicted criminal who was released early and ordered to wear an electronic tag killed a woman in her own home while tagged as he was undertaking a burglary at the victim's home.

Lloyd Edwards, 19, has now been convicted at Kingston Crown Court of murdering Laila Rezk, 51, who was found dying at her home in Kingston Vale in 2006.

Edwards, of south-west London, admitted manslaughter but had denied murder and has now been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

The court was told that Edwards was issued with a tag when he was released early from an 18-month Detention and Training Order, even though he had a string of previous convictions and had been in trouble with police since the age of 10.

It also transpired that Edwards carried out a raid on yet another house just two weeks after leaving Mrs Rezk for dead.

He was fitted with an electronic tag and on a curfew but after drinking all day on November 29 last year, he entered Mrs Rezk's home as she prepared a family dinner and launched a violent attack when she screamed.

She was left with severe brain damage and her injuries suggested she had been punched a number of times and her head smashed against a wall.

She was still breathing when daughter Dina - a PhD student at Girton College, Cambridge - who was then 22, and son Tamer, a medical student aged 20, walked in through the open doorway.

The court heard her daughter "could not recognise her mother's face" because of her injuries, which were so severe that paramedics thought a weapon must have been used.

She was taken to hospital but had fallen into a coma from which she never recovered.

A single thumbprint on a bent front door key on a bunch recovered from a lock at the home matched that of Edwards from Roehampton, south west London.

He later told police he pulled his sleeves over his hands when he went around the house.

He denied unlocking the door with the key but officers believe that in his agitation, his jumper slipped from his hands, leaving the print on the key.

The Judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, said Mrs Rezk's screams resulted in Edwards losing his temper and launching a "ferocious attack".

He said: "I accept that you didn't intend to kill Mrs Rezk and didn't intend when you went into the house to cause anyone really serious injury.

"But when Mrs Rezk resisted, you clearly lost your temper and formed the intention which resulted in you assaulting her so seriously she died," he said.

(BMcC/JM)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 March 2007
Man in court over Laila Rezk murder
A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of 51-year-old mother-of-two Laila Rezk. Lloyd Edwards, 18, from Roehampton, southwest London was remanded in custody Kingston Magistrates' Court on Thursday. He is next due to appear at the Old Bailey on March 19.