A fired British executive who strangled a former colleague after she caught him stealing computers from the office they had once shared was jailed for life Tuesday.
Cathy Marlow had gone to catch up on work on a Saturday when she discovered Matthew Fagan stealing laptops from the office.
The 33-year-old American Web production manager, who was bankrupt after being dismissed nine months earlier, beat Marlow, 28, over the head with a hammer and then strangled her with her scarf.
Her body was found dumped in a shower cubicle at Research Now, a market research company in Lambeth, London.
After just four-and-a-half hours of deliberation, the jury at the Old Bailey found Fagan guilty after DNA linked him to the murder. Member’s of Marlow’s family, who had traveled from her native New Zealand for the trial, broke down in tears as the verdict was delivered.
When Marlow’s father’s impact statement was read to the court some members of the jury also wept as they heard that the victim’s mother, Claire, had lost her battle with cancer just two months after being told of her daughter’s violent death.
“The man who carried out this crime is as cruel as he is callous,” Bernie Marlow wrote, adding that the murder had contributed to the mother’s demise.
Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, sentenced Fagan to serve a minimum of 26 years for murdering the “popular and conscientious employee."
He added: “She made a fateful decision to go to work on a Saturday. Her diligence cost her her life.”