LONDON, United Kingdom, Monday January 8, 2018 – A Jamaica-born man who was previously convicted of killing his wife and then strangling a former girlfriend 12 years later in the United Kingdom, has now been sentenced to 26 years in prison for killing a third partner.
Theodore Johnson, 64, pleaded guilty last Thursday to murdering 51-year-old ex-girlfriend Angela Best, by throttling her and beating her over the head at his home. Their relationship had broken down and Best had started seeing another man.
Johnson beat the mother of four with a claw hammer and strangled her with the belt of her dressing gown on December 15, 2016 at his north London residence, where she had gone to help him prepare for an appointment with the Jamaican Embassy.
“The attack by you on Angela Best was sustained, vicious and utterly brutal. She suffered an unimaginably terrible death,” Judge Richard Marks said in handing down his sentence.
A post-mortem examination found Best had suffered at least six blows to the head with the hammer.
According to police, hours after attacking Best, Johnson threw himself in front of a train at a railway station. He survived but lost his right arm and left hand and it was when police went to his home to find his next of kin after the incident that Best’s body was discovered in the living room.
Johnson had previously been convicted of killing his wife, Yvonne Johnson, by pushing her off a balcony in 1981. He was jailed for three years for manslaughter by provocation, by a judge who described him as a battered husband who had suffered violence at the hands of his wife.
Then, in 1993, Johnson pleaded guilty to manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, after strangling former partner Yvonne Bennett, with whom he had a daughter. He was sent to a secure hospital indefinitely for that crime, but was released in 1997.
Johnson had met Best in 1996 while on unescorted leave from the hospital, before his eventual release.
“Such repeated offending, resulting in three separate court cases, must be almost unprecedented,” the judge said at Johnson’s sentencing.