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Man who murdered Wirral grandmother is jailed for life
A "TROUBLED" young man who raped and killed his step-grandmother in a horrific frenzied knife attack has been jailed for life.
A judge told 21-year-old Jack Huxley that he carried out the murder "in circumstances which, even by today's standards, plumbed the depths of depravity and brutality".
His 62-year-old victim, retired mental health nurse Janis Dundas, had taken him in after he turned up at her one bedroomed flat in Ellesmere Port having made himself homeless.
She offered him board and lodging and even arranged to borrow a bed for him - but within 24 hours she was dead.
Huxley, high on a cocktail of drink and drugs, attacked her with four knives and a carving fork while she slept.
"You were to repay her kindness and common decency in a way which was as inhuman as it was gratuitously violent," said Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool.
After leaving Mrs Dundas, Huxley – then just 20 - set about partially cleaning up before fleeing in her Peugeot car and "callously" stealing her credit card, £50 cash and mobile phone.
He crashed into a wall and another vehicle soon afterwards and vanished on foot. Shortly afterwards he approached police and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
As well as having drunk vodka and taken cannabis and ephedrine he had taken some of his victim's prescription drugs.
Huxley declined to be interviewed by police but eventually claimed a masked stranger was to blame and later tried to blacken her character with lies claiming he acted in self-defence.
Judge Goldstone told Huxley that although he had never been seen as a danger to anyone but himself, he regarded him as "a very dangerous young man".
He ordered him to serve a minimum term of 21 years eight months but stressed it would be up to the Parole Board when and if he is ever released.
Huxley, of no fixed address, whose father was married to one of Mrs Dundas’s daughters, had pleaded guilty to murder at Liverpool Crown Court.
Defence QC Charles Miskin said that Huxley, who sat with his head buried in his hands throughout the hearing, had had problems all his life because of a neuro-developmental disorder and had developed drink and drug problems.
He had never been able to form relationships and had self-harmed, but although he would get angry and hit walls he had never been violent to others.
He described him as very immature and and said he wished to apologise to the victim’s family and his own family.
He said that Mrs Dundas had treated Huxley like her own grandchild. He had not only left her dead but had destructively marked the lives of her family and friends.
After the hearing Cheshire Det Insp Peter Case said that the victim had been "an innocent and defenceless woman who lost her life as a result of offering kindness to her step grandson".
In a statement, Janis's family said: "Janis. Our mummy, a grandmother, sister and daughter. A clever and insightful woman murdered so brutally by a man whom she invited into her home.
"Her murder has left a deep and dark hole in our lives. The sentence imposed in some way reflects the gravity of this crime and gives us some consolation.
"We would like to thank the many people who have worked so tirelessly to achieve justice for mummy. We are extremely grateful to all concerned.
"Our wonderful life has been shattered and all we can now do is try not to let the incomprehensible actions of one man become our focus, instead, we will try to rejoice in the memories we have of a truly wonderful woman, our beautiful mummy."
Gary Simpson, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service Mersey-Cheshire, said: "This was a case of a Good Samaritan who was brutally murdered for her trouble.
"Jack Huxley turned up on Janis Dundas’s doorstep with nowhere to stay and she took him in.
"She spent most of the day before her death trying to find a put-me-up bed for him to sleep on.
"That night she was killed by the relative she had tried to help.
"The hard work of Cheshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service has meant that man is now behind bars for a considerable period of time."