A MAN who murdered his girlfriend by kicking her repeatedly in the head in an attack on a Leeds canal towpath has been jailed for life.
Kevin Whyment, 54, was told he must serve a minimum of 15 years in prison after being found guilty of the brutal drink-fuelled killing of Michaela Heaton.
Michaela was murdered on her 38th birthday, July 17 this, after Whyment subjected her to a sustained attack as they walked beside the Leeds-Liverpool canal at Armley.
Leeds Crown Court heard Whyment has a long history of domestic violence offences and has served a number of prison sentences for attacks on former partners.
Michaela had moved into Whyment’s home on Landseer Drive, Bramley, weeks before the fatal attack. Whyment slapped and punched her repeatedly and pulled out chunks of her hair before kicking her in the face until she became unconscious.
He continued to kick her in the head as she lay prone on the ground.
Prosecutor Michelle Colborne, QC, said: “All this, say the Crown, without provocation or excuse, and while she was vulnerable, drunk and incapable of defending herself.
“When he knocked her to the ground and kicked at her prone body he had no other intention that she die or be harmed in nothing other than a serious way.”
Jailing Whyment, Mrs Justice McGowan said: “You simply cannot control yourself.”
“Any woman that you are living with or even, on the face of it, are friends with, is in danger of being viciously assaulted.”
After the case, Det Chief Insp Elizabeth Belton, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Michaela was brutally murdered in a violent and sustained attack which continued over some considerable distance as she and Whyment walked home from the city centre.
“Whyment, who has a long history of violence towards women, continued the attack on Michaela even when she was unconscious on the ground. Her tragic death illustrates the appalling consequences that violence in a relationship can have. We urge anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse not to suffer in silence but to seek help from the police, our partner agencies or other support organisation.”