Man gets life for murder of ex-lover
AN OBSESSED man who stabbed his ex-lover to death in a car park of a Maidstone prison has been jailed for life for her murder.
Keith Prest, 49, lay in wait for teacher Louise Evans from Hothfield and knifed her 43 times during the frenzied attack outside East Sutton Park open prison for women in September last year.
The 48-year-old mother-oftwo taught English to foreign inmates at the prison.
During the trial of Prest at Maidstone Crown Court the jury of nine men and three women heard that Miss Evans predicted just hours before she was killed that she would never be free of her ex-lover.
She had also told police that she was living in fear of Prest who, at the time of the murder, was on bail for throttling her until she was semi-conscious.
Jailing him for life with a minimum term of 16 years and 356 days on Monday, Judge Michael Lawson QC said it wasn’t long into their relationship that Miss Evans saw Prest’s “dark side”.
And by the time he murdered her he had already “destroyed” Miss Evans’s life by his “campaign of fear and terror and emotional blackmail”.
The judge added that this was the most significant factor which enabled him to increase the minimum term from a “starting point” of 15 years.
The court heard that following the break-up of their relationship Prest made numerous phone calls to Miss Evans, left notes on her car and at her home, and followed her while out shopping.
He also later told the police following his arrest that he held Miss Evans responsible for his suicide attempts and wanted “to punish her”.
Passing sentence Judge Lawson described Miss Evans as a loving mother and affectionate and humorous person whose “generous and kind” nature Prest had tried to exploit.
He added that on September 12 last year Prest had deliberately armed himself with “a deadly weapon” and waited for Miss Evans to finish work.
“It is clear you intended to kill her,” said Judge Lawson.
Prest, of no fixed address, denied murder and did not give evidence during his trial. The jury returned its verdict after less than four hours deliberation.
An aerial shot of the murder scene at East Sutton prison
The murderer: Keith Prest – jailed for life
The victim: Louise Evans – lived in fear