/Merciless killer who took an overdose learns his fate

Merciless killer who took an overdose learns his fate

A murderer was jailed for life in his absence – with the killer understood to have taken an overdose of tablets and in intensive care.

Matthew Farmer’s sentencing hearing was delayed on Friday (January 21) as it emerged he is in hospital after he was convicted of the murder on Thursday (January 20) of ex-partner Stacey Clay.

Judge Gregory Dickson QC, the Recorder of Nottingham, sentenced in Farmer’s absence, giving him a life term with a minimum to serve of 29 years before he can even apply for parole.

Farmer, 42, of Logan Street, Bulwell, stabbed Miss Clay, a mother-of-four, 21 times and tried to strangle her in the back garden of her home in Andover Road, Bestwood, after weeks of harassment.

She died of her injuries two weeks later on June 2.

Stacey Clay, pictured left, and the back garden area at the time
Stacey Clay, pictured left, and the back garden area at the time

The judge addressed Farmer as if he was in court, saying Miss Clay was just 39 years old and most of her life should still be ahead of her and “in particular the joy of her family and friends”.

Miss Clay had four children and “the damage inflicted on them and the whole of the family is terrible”, added the judge.

“And sadly every birthday, every major family event in the lives of the family will be forever tarnished as Stacey is not there.”

Part of the history of the case was that after ex-doorman Farmer had cheated on Miss Clay, she took him back.

Farmer previously took an overdose and it was Miss Clay who cared for him.

“Not surprisingly, people have described her as being both generous and caring,” added the judge.

When Miss Clay, 39, could no longer cope with Farmer’s behaviour, “you killed her”, added the judge.

He said Farmer had taken the knife to the scene intending to commit murder and “I am sure your intention was to kill Stacey Clay”.

It was an aggravating factor, added the judge, that it was a planned killing and the premeditation goes much further in the case.

At 9pm the day before, Farmer bought a knife at work at Tesco Extra where he was a security guard. The CCTV recording, played at Farmer’s trial where he denied murder, showed him practising by stabbing into the packaging with the sharp blade.

The judge added that the attack, the following day on Miss Clay, was sustained and merciless and Miss Clay, whilst terrified ,had fought for her life.

And, in the immediate aftermath, when he thought Miss Clay was dead, the judge said “you were pleased with yourself and, to the arresting officers, you smirked and you winked”.

“He is a very troubled individual,” said Francis Fitzgibbon QC, defending Farmer.

He said of Farmer: “He knows he will receive a life sentence and knows that will consist of a very considerable period measured in decades. He will not be coming out of his prison until he is a very old man. That he knows.”

Detective Inspector Rebecca Hodgman, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Farmer committed this awful and brutal act killing Stacey and taking her away from her family and friends.

“This was a truly shocking and horrific act that killed a woman just trying to have a fresh start in life with her children.

“I welcome the judge’s sentence and hope it gives Stacey’s family and friends some peace and comfort knowing he has not only been found guilty of her murder but will now spend the next 29 years behind bars paying for his crime.

“We know that no sentence or time behind bars can ever bring back a loved one but we hope that Stacey’s family and friends can now begin to slowly rebuild their lives knowing Famer has been sentenced for his crime.

“I would like to again reiterate our sincere condolences to Stacey’s family and friends on their loss.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “An HMP Nottingham prisoner was taken to hospital this morning and is currently receiving treatment there.”

To read all the biggest and best stories first sign up to read our newsletters here

Original Source