Charlie Booth jailed for life for murder of Lauren Howe in Baildon

Booth was regularly abusive towards Lauren Howe. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A jealous and abusive man who murdered his partner in an "uncontrollable rage" after she returned from a night out has been jailed for life.

Charlie Booth caused 26-year-old Lauren Howe fatal liver injuries when he attacked her at their flat in Baildon, West Yorkshire, on 24 July last year.

He then dressed her lifeless body in different clothes, carried it some distance and dumped it by a bin, hid his phone and put his washing machine on to try to cover his tracks.

She died despite the efforts of neighbours to save her.

Miss Howe's injuries were like those seen in victims of road accidents and falls from height, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Drug user Booth, the father of Miss Howe's two children, told repeated lies about what had happened, including that Miss Howe had arrived home covered in cuts and bruises, had banged her head and that she may have overdosed.

The 27-year-old admitted manslaughter but denied murder. He was convicted of murder following a ten-day trial.

During the trial, jurors heard how their relationship had been characterised by "jealousy and anger".

Booth regularly attacked Miss Howe and threatened her friends and family.

Lauren Howe

Ben Campbell, prosecuting, told his sentencing hearing: "She frequently reported his conduct to friends and family, but not to police."

On the day she died Miss Howe had arrived home to find a piece of wood against the door. The prosecution said Booth had deliberately placed it there so that he would know when she walked through the door.

The couple were in the property, on Tennis Way, for around an hour before Booth was seen carrying his partner away.

Booth admitted the pair had a "volatile" relationship and claimed they had a fight as he had "smashed" the house up.

Properties were cordoned off following the incident. Credit: ITV News

But Mr Campbell said Booth apparently killed Miss Howe after accusing her of being unfaithful.

"The motive appears to have been extreme jealousy and paranoia," he said.

'Some days I feel completely numb'

In statements given to court, family members described the impact of MIss Howe's murder.

Her sister, Bethany, fought back tears as she said: "Since her death I struggle to look at the kids because they remind me so much of her, but also of you.

"I'm mentally exhausted and I struggle. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep properly for weeks... some days I feel completely numb.

"It's like a piece of glass has been shattered and I can't ever put that back together."

Miss Howe's sister, Lily, said: "I can't sleep any more without having nightmares. I go to bed crying every night... I don't think I will every be myself again."

Judge Andrew Stubbs KC told Booth Miss Howe's family would "never get over her loss".

He added: "It is part of the tragedy of this case that [your] children have lost their mother and now, effectively, their father."

The judge said Booth's relationship with Miss Howe was "marked by violence, possessiveness and jealousy". In the period before he attacked her, Booth was "building yourself up into an uncontrollable rage", he said.

Booth was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years and six months.

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