Life Sentence for Shepherd's Bush Murderer

Man found guilty of killing woman in her own home

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A Shepherd’s Bush man has been jailed for life for the murder of a 23-year-old woman, just days after he was bailed on separate rape allegations.

 

At the Old Bailey on Friday (27 June), 22-year-old Chris Braithwaite of Bentworth Road, W12, pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of Stacey Westbury at her West Kensington home in August 2007.

The judge told Braithwaite – a crack addict with a string of previous convictions – that he would serve a minimum of 30 years.

 

Braithwaite attacked and murdered Stacey in her flat last August while she was alone with her 10-month-old son. Her father discovered her semi-naked body, covered in blood.

 

"I feel so guilty that I was not there to protect my little girl,” Kenneth Westbury said. “This feeling overwhelms me and tears me to pieces inside every day.”

The court was told that Stacey's son now had nightmares and became hysterical if strangers came to the house.

Detective Inspector Tony Bishop from the Homicide Serious Crime Command leading the investigation said: "This was a sexually aggravated murder of an innocent mother. The evidence against Braithwaite was overwhelming, giving him no option but to plead guilty.”

"Stacey was discovered by her father at her home address after he grew concerned when he couldn't contact her."

"Stacey's ten-month old baby boy was discovered in his cot in the flat at the same time Stacey was found. He has been deprived of growing up without ever having truly known his mother. "

"Braithwaite was an acquaintance of Stacey's, having attended the same school. He knew her address and went round to see her on the evening of 16th August. He subjected her to a sexual assault, killing her and leaving her and her young son to be discovered the following day".

Police were called to Westbury’s home in Ivatt Place, West
Kensington Estate on 17 August 2007 and discovered the young woman’s body with stab injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Braithwaite was arrested on 18 August, and charged with her murder and sexual assault the following day.

 

29 June 2008