Life for Hackney man who beat partner to death

Murder victim, Gaynor Bale. Pic: Met Police

Murder victim, Gaynor Bale. Pic: Met Police

A man who left his “vulnerable” partner with car-crash like injuries at her Hackney home has been jailed for life after he was convicted of her murder.

Douglas Samuel, 35, of Link Street, Homerton, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but was convicted of the murder of Gaynor Bale, 34, at the Old Bailey on Friday.

Police were called to the victim’s flat on Anderson Road on the evening of Thursday, November 22, 2012 after neighbours had reported a dispute.

Bale was found collapsed in the hallway of the building around 9.35pm and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem confirmed the cause of death as a “blunt trauma injury” resulting in a ruptured liver. It was revealed in court that Samuel had punched his victim repeatedly in the stomach, causing her to bleed to death.

Convicted: Douglas Samuel. Pic: Met Police

Convicted: Douglas Samuel. Pic: Met Police

Samuel was known to have a history of violence, repeatedly abusing the 34-year-old hospice worker over the course of their six-year relationship.

Speaking to the court, Samuel said that his actions came from frustration, adding: “she couldn’t control her mouth and I couldn’t control my hands”.

Judge Paul Worsley QC told Samuel that Bale was “vulnerable, not just physically but mentally”.

He added: “The violence was severe, in fact similar to the injuries to be found in someone after a road traffic accident.”

Samuel was sentenced to serve a minimum of 20 years before he is considered for release.

The news of the verdict coincides with preparations made across London for White Ribbon Week: a nation-wide campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence and support for its victims.

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