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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Murderer jailed for at least 27 years

A MURDERER who doused a woman in white spirit and set fire to her after she cut off contact with him has been sent to prison for a minimum of 27 years.

EM Terrence Armer mugshot
Terrence Armer

In a trial that began last Wednesday, Terrence Armer denied murdering Stacey Mackie, 35, formerly of Haverigg.

Yesterday the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after two hours of deliberation.

Crown prosecutor Mr Timothy Storrie told the jury how Armer, 61, went to Miss Mackie’s flat, doused her in white spirit and then set her alight.

The court heard Armer, of Buttery Well Road, Kendal, and Miss Mackie met in a hospital where they were both being treated for mental health issues in January 2011. They became friends but the friendship ended and Miss Mackie refused to return his calls and text messages.

Mr Storrie told Carlisle Crown Court this triggered the anger which led Armer to murder her on January 27.

The jury’s verdict rejected the defence case that Miss Mackie set fire to herself while Armer was paying her a visit.

Sentencing Armer to life with a minimum term of 27 years, Mr Justice Stephen Irwin said there was “overwhelming evidence” he had murdered vulnerable Miss Mackie.

The judge said: “It’s perfectly clear you decided you had rights over her. It’s very likely that you wanted more than friendship, but whatever about that you were certainly not prepared for her to end contact with you and you insisted in pursuing her.

“You chose the dreadful method of burning her to death causing great suffering and a real and present fear of death.”

Miss Mackie’s family had been forced to sit through the harrowing details of the trial, the judge said. He commended the family for their dignity as well as praising the police and fire service for their efforts to help Miss Mackie.

The judge especially praised Kendal PC Jane Colyer, who comforted Miss Mackie after the attack, and PC Rob Kerr, who assisted at the scene.

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