A man who raped and murdered a 67-year-old grandmother from Carmarthenshire has been sentenced to life in prison.
26-year-old Darren Martin Jackson, originally from Kent, will spend a minimum of 28 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to the attack earlier this year.
Irene Lawless was found dead at her home on the Bryndulais estate in the village of Llanllwni in January.
Ms Lawless was described locally as well-liked and independent.
Her brother said:
– Phillip Edwin Lawless
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Irene. She was a loving mother, sister and grandmother. She was a kind and caring woman, much loved by her family and friends.
Her loss in such tragic circumstances has left many heavy hearts and she will be sadly missed. The family would like to thank everyone near and far for their kind words and support
– The Hon Mr Justice Royce
Irene Lawless was a kind lady. She was one of life's givers rather than takers, and had everything to live for.
It's clear that she must have put up a struggle. The humiliation and mental anguish before she died at your hands was horrendous. It was nothing short of evil depravity.
With your warped and perverted mind it is possible you will never be released from prison.
The chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in the Dyfed-Powys area has praised the efforts of the team who brought Darren Jackson to justice.
– IWAN JENKINS, DISTRICT CROWN PROSECUTOR FOR THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE IN WALES
This was a senseless and brutal attack on a vulnerable and defenceless victim. It is right that Darren Jackson has received a significant jail sentence for his callous actions.
We can only hope that Irene’s family and friends may be able to take some small comfort from the fact that we were able to spare them the stresses and strains of a murder trial.
However, we are acutely aware that today’s sentencing does nothing to bring back Irene or ease the sense of loss felt by those close to her. Our thoughts are with them.