Hillary Collard, mother of Jemma Mitchell, tells ITV News' Sejal Karia why she believes her daughter is innocent
The mother of a woman jailed for murdering her friend and dumping her headless body has insisted she is innocent.
On Friday, Jemma Mitchell, 38, was told she would have to serve at least 34 years in prison for the “profoundly shocking” murder of 67-year-old Mee Kuen Chong, known as Deborah.
Judge Richard Marks KC said Mitchell had been convicted on “overwhelming evidence”.
But Mitchell’s mother, retired Foreign Officer worker Hillary Collard, suggested that Ms Chong was depressed, killed herself and her head had become detached due to decomposition.
Speaking outside court she said of her daughter: “As far as I’m concerned she did not do it. She’s innocent.
“There’s absolutely no question about it and I know she would not do such a thing. I’m absolutely baffled.”
“I’m absolutely agog. There was no DNA on the body.
“If she had murdered the lady, at our house there would be blood and other things but there was nothing.
“Also at Deborah’s house, they said she was murdered there. There’s no blood, no nothing."
Mrs Collard added: “She offered me to go to Salcombe with her. If she had a dead body in the back she would not have asked me to go with her, would she?
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Marks had told Mitchell: “As part of your degree you were taught anatomy and you included on your website which advertised your services as an osteopath the fact that you had experience in the dissection of human bodies.
“That no doubt stood you in good stead when you cut off her head, although why you chose to do that remains a mystery.”
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