Last updated: 9 January 2018, 10:29 am
A Jamaica-born man previously convicted of killing his wife and a former girlfriend 12 years has 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 strangled the mother of four with her her dressing gown cord on 15 December 2016 at his north London home, where she had gone to help him prepare for an appointment with the Jamaican embassy.
During sentencing, Judge Richard Marks said: “The attack by you on Angela Best was sustained, vicious and utterly brutal. She suffered an unimaginably terrible death.”
A post-mortem examination found Best had suffered at least six blows to the head with the hammer.
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.
It was when police went to his home to find his next of kin after the suicide attempt that Best’s body was discovered in the living room.
In mitigation for Johnson, Annette Henry QC said: “He does not wish to be alive. He hates himself for what happened.”
‘Almost unprecedented’ repeat offending
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.
In 1993, Johnson pleaded guilty to manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, after strangling former partner Yvonne Bennett.
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.
“Such repeated offending, resulting in three separate court cases, must be almost unprecedented,” the judge said at Johnson’s sentencing.