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  1. ITV Report

Life in prison for hammer attacker who murdered neighbour in Norwich

Danny Williams, who has been jailed for life Credit: Norfolk Police

A "senseless and brutal" murderer who attacked his neighbour with a hammer has been jailed for life.

Danny Williams, 27, was told he would serve a minimum of 24 years behind bars for killing Farnaz Ali at his flat at Godric Place in Norwich last July.

He was sentenced today at Norwich Crown Court following an eight-day trial. A jury took three hours to find him guilty of murder.

In a statement, Ms Ali's sister, Mahnaz Ali, said the last 14 months had been "a horrific experience" for her and her family.

Farnaz Ali was murdered by Danny Williams at his flat at Godric Place in Norwich Credit: Norfolk Police

"No one expects to have to identify their sister's body. In fact, due to the effects of the injuries she sustained, I didn't initially recognise her and had to view her twice to be sure it was her.

"My parents were unable to attend the trial due to their health and I would not have wanted them to be exposed to all the details surrounding their daughter's death. I do not think they will ever recover from the loss of their daughter."

– Dr Mahnaz Ali, Farnaz Ali's sister

Farnaz Ali, who was 49, had gone out for a walk around 7pm on Friday July 28, 2017, after complaining about noise coming from Williams' flat.

When she had not returned home a few hours later, her partner Oliver reported her missing.

In the meantime, Williams had left his home and taken a taxi to a flat in Lowestoft where he spent the night. He revealed he had murdered a woman and her body was still in the bathroom of his flat.

A friend reported what he had said to police the following day and police were able to recover a hammer, used in the attack, from the Denes Oval area of Lowestoft.

During the trial, the jury was told Ms Ali had suffered multiple injuries, including being strangled. Police said they believed there was a sexual element to the killing.

Police at the scene at Godric Place in Norwich in 2017 Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"Farnaz Ali was the victim of a senseless, brutal act of violence at the hands of Danny Williams.

"During the trial the court has heard Ms Ali described as a peaceful, caring, and compassionate woman who saw the best in everybody."

– Acting Det Insp Neil Stewart, Norfolk Police

Ms Ali's sister, who has had to take a break from working as a GP, said her parents' health had deteriorated to the point where they would now have to move into sheltered housing.

"I am still measuring the scale of my loss. Farnaz was my only sibling and we have no other close relatives. She will not be with us for Christmases, birthdays and other special occasions.

"Farnaz, my sister, was a quiet, gentle, thoughtful person who suffered a prolonged attack and then died alone in the bathroom of a stranger’s house and this knowledge will stay with me forever."

– Dr Mahnaz Ali

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