Abusive former church deacon murdered mother in front of her children

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A FORMER deacon was jailed for life yesterday for knifing his girlfriend 52 times in an explosion of jealousy.

The “savage and sustained” attack left Sashana Roberts, 24, dead in front of her two young children.

Ezekial Foster, 43, was found guilty of murder and was told he would have to serve at least 19 years. Miss Roberts’s body was found in the bathroom of the blood-covered flat in Cricklewood, north London.

Foster had a history of domestic violence towards women and flew into a rage when Miss Roberts came home late after going dancing. He had disapproved and had not liked the way fun-loving Miss Roberts dressed, said Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London. “The background is one of selfish and manipulative behaviour. This was an explosion of violent temper,” the judge said.

The Old Bailey heard Foster claimed he was hearing voices when he went on the run but a doctor told the court it was Foster’s way of dealing with his guilt.

After being sentenced, Foster turned to Miss Roberts’s family in the public gallery and apologised to them, but they refused to accept his remorse calling him wicked and evil.

The court heard Foster, of Twybridge Way, Brent, north London, attacked the mother in front of her three-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter because she was about to end their relationship. Miss Roberts had recently begun a relationship with a man who was closer to her own age.

Foster, previously a deacon at a church in the Harlesden area who then became a builder and roofer, had convictions for violence against women and had been abusive to two previous partners, the court was told.