Friday, January 13, 2023

Pensioner jailed for 1975 murder after ‘one in a billion’ DNA match

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Dennis McGrory sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled 15-year-old Jacqui Montgomery at her home in Islington, north London, in 1975.

He was tried the following year on a circumstantial case and was acquitted of murder on the orders of a judge.

But he was eventually brought to justice after swabs from Ms Montgomery’s body resulted in a one-in-a-billion DNA match decades later.

After an amendment to the double jeopardy law in 2003, McGrory’s case was referred to the Court of Appeal and sent to the Old Bailey for a new trial.

McGrory, from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, had previously been found guilty of rape and murder at Huntingdon Crown Court.

Judge Bryan sentenced him to 25 years and 126 days and told the killer: “I have no doubt that you intended to kill her in your brutal attack on her.

“They put Jacqui through a horrific, violent and prolonged ordeal in her own home – a place where she was allowed to feel safe.

“For the decades that followed, you must have thought you got away with your heinous crimes.

“How a man could inflict sexual violence on a 15-year-old child without harming them is incredible.

“You have shown not an iota of remorse or compassion for Jacqui or Jacqui’s family.

“You broke that life and took away that life and all the things that she hoped for in that life.”

During the trial, jurors were told McGrory was “wild with rage” when he killed Jacqui while trying to track down his ex-partner Josie Montgomery, the victim’s aunt.

Prosecutor Sarah Przybylska said: “Undoubtedly furious with rage and wanting to attack Josie, the defendant vented his anger on the next best thing, Jacqui Montgomery, and raped and murdered her.”

During the attack, he ripped out a page from the teenager’s diary, which had her aunt’s address on it.

Jacqui’s body was found on the floor of her living room in Offord Road by her father, Robert Montgomery, in the early hours of 2 June 1975.

She had suffered fatal stab wounds, blunt force trauma to her face, and been strangled with the bend of an iron.

In a victim impact statement, Jacqui Montgomery’s sister Kathy said: “A violent man who lived in our family [raped and] murdered my sister. He was able to live his life.

“He spent almost 50 years as a free man doing what he pleased.

“I find it unbearable when my sister hasn’t even reached her 16th birthday. His actions traumatized so many people and it had no consequences for him.

“The investigation over the last few years has led us to rekindle memories of the murder which caused pain and distress to me and my family, and I am relieved that we finally have justice for Jacqui.”

It was one of the biggest news stories of our time – and it’s still not over. So what did Boris Johnson know about the infamous Downing Street parties? With fresh revelations from our source number 10, in their own words, listen to the inside story…

He was tried the following year on a circumstantial case and was acquitted of murder on the orders of a judge.

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