A man who beat his pregnant ex-fiancee to death in Essex, causing the death of their unborn baby, has been jailed for at least 27 years.
Unemployed Tony McLernon from Harlow was found guilty of murder and child destruction following a trial lasting just over two weeks at Chelmsford Crown Court. Serena Sandhu was in court this morning.
The family of murdered pregnant Eystna Blunnie have given their reaction after Tony McLernon was jailed for a minimum of 27 years.
Tony Blunnie, Eystna's uncle, said:
“After a very long and heartbreaking 8 months finally today we have received justice for Eystna and her then soon to be born daughter Rose.
"Eystna was a warm and loving girl with a unique personality, with her whole life to look forward to and become whatever she wanted to be.
"Sadly, Tony McLernon took away whatever chance we had of knowing what type of person Rose would’ve been.
"In our hearts we know she would’ve been loved, nurtured and given the best in life that was possible.”
Eystna Blunnie ’s family released the following statement following the verdict:
"In June of 2012 our family was shattered by the death of a loving daughter, Eystna, and her unborn child, Rose. The worst part was to find out that their deaths were such a brutal murder.
"However today justice has prevailed for our daughter and granddaughter with the conviction of their killer. We would like to thank the Essex Police teams and the legal teams who have worked so hard to make this happen and for all the support that they have given us throughout this tragic time.
"We would also like to thank the family and friends who have supported us throughout and all the people who helped Eystna after she was beaten and left for dead by Tony McLernon.
"We would like now to be left with our family to try and rebuild our lives and remember Eystna and Rose in our hearts and minds.”
DCILucy Robinson, senior investigating officer, said:
"On June 26, 2012, Eystna Blunnie was within days of giving birth and was looking forward to the imminent arrival of her baby daughter.
"She made arrangements to meet with Tony McLernon, her ex-partner and the father of her child, as she was desperate for him to be involved in the baby’s life.
"In the early hours of June 27, having met with McLernon, he severely beat Eystna and left her for dead in the street. His actions not only resulted in her death but also the death of their unborn baby girl.
"McLernon the sought to cover his tracks and concocted a web of lies to account for where he had been that evening and his knowledge of the murder. Throughout the thorough police investigation he has not sought to explain his actions, nor has he admitted his guilt or shown any remorse.
"He has deprived a family of the special time had with a new mother and baby, Eystna’s parents of their grandchild and Eystna the chance to be a mother to the baby she was so looking forward to having.
"Tony McLernon is a dangerous, violent man. He has subjected numerous ex-girlfriends to constant fear of being assaulted, and Eystna paid the ultimate price during his final violent outburst. What he has taken away from the Blunnie family can never be replaced, but I hope he never has the opportunity to put another family through the pain they continue to suffer.”
A man's been jailed for at least 27 years for beating his former fiancee to death, causing the death of their unborn baby.
Tony McLernon, 24 of Harlow in Essex, murdered pregnant Eystna Blunne in July last year, just days before she was due to give birth to a baby girl.
Ordering a minimum tariff of 27 years of a life sentence, Mr Justice Fulford said: "It is undoubtedly the case that he brutally and repeatedly attacked Eystna Blunnie during the course of their relationship.
"He told friends he wanted her significantly harmed or killed. In April he strangled her, causing the baby distress.
"This killing was not the result of an unthinking moment of anger but instead he had contemplated the attack over a long period of time.
"The killing was truly terrible. The horrific screams heard by those nearby show the suffering and pain she suffered and for some period of time she would have been aware of the fatal consequences for herself and her child.
"He has shown not the slightest shred of remorse."
A Harlow man has been found guilty of murdering his heavily pregnant ex-girlfirend and causing the death of their baby.
Tony McLernon, 24, of North Grove was convicted on both charges at Chelmsford Crown Court.
The court heard how he lured Eystna Blunnie to Howard Way in Harlow in June last year, then beat her.
Both Esteena and the baby girl she was due to give birth to died in hospital.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hall from Essex Police says McLernon had a history of violence towards women.
A man has been found guilty of murdering his heavily pregnant former girlfriend and deliberately killing her unborn baby. Tony McLernon, 24, from North Grove, Harlow in Essex had denied murdering Eystna Blunnie last year.