A man who murdered a Hackney school teacher on their first date has been jailed for life.
“Beautiful and vibrant” teacher Katie Locke was strangled by Carl Langdell on Christmas Eve 2015 before he sexually assaulted her and took pictures of her corpse.
Locke, 23, taught history and politics at Cardinal Pole School in Hackney.
Langdell, 26, pleaded guilty to Locke’s murder at a hearing in March. Following a two-day sentencing hearing at St Albans Crown Court, and was told he would serve at least 26 years in prison for her murder.
Judge Andrew Bright QC told him having sexual intercourse with Katie Locke’s dead body “increased the depravity of the murder”.
“I am firmly of the view that you pose a very great danger to women and young girls with whom you come into contact in the future and I note that you have described yourself to others as a monster and a psychopath because of what you did to Katie Locke,” he said.
Langdell and Locke met on the online dating site Plenty of Fish. Before they met, Langdell of Roundmoor Drive, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, told Locke he had his own law firm, but had actually spent the last two years suffering from mental illness, which included “marked periods in psychiatric hospitals”.
Before arriving at the hotel they had previously been drinking at a bar in Shoreditch, the Telegraph reported.
Locke’s body was found dumped in a bush near a skip in the grounds of Theobalds Park Hotel, Hertfordshire, where the murder took place.
The day after the murder, Langdell reportedly confessed his actions over the phone to his mother, describing himself as a “monster”.
Ann Evans, prosecuting, said after Langdell had killed Ms Locke “he decided to have sexual intercourse with her dead body after which he took photographs of her body on his iPhone”.
Evans said: “The tragedy of this case is that Katie Locke, like thousands of other young people, having agreed to a date with Carl Langdell, accepted what he told her about himself.
“At the end of their first date in the early hours of 24 December last year, she agreed to go back to a hotel with him, he strangled her in that hotel room and then dumped her body near a skip outside the hotel.”
Locke’s mother Jennifer read out a victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing, during which she said of her daughter: “Nothing could prepare her for meeting a monster. I shall miss her every minute of every day.”
Locke’s family statement reads: “Katie’s loss has robbed so many people, the friends who loved her, the workmates who relied upon her, the children she taught and those she would have gone on to teach in what promised to be a successful career.”
Speaking outside court, Katie Locke’s family said she was “trusting, caring and always tried to see the best in everyone which, sadly, has been her downfall”.
“For us as a family to realise that any fantasist or predator can lie and publicly portray themselves as anything their warped personalities would like is shocking,” they said.
“Katie is never coming home. All we can do is warn other young women to be careful in the hope that no other family ever has to go through the pain and trauma we have suffered.”
Cardinal Pole School were approached but could not comment at this time.