A murder mystery fan who attacked and killed another woman in a jealous rage will spend the next 26 years behind bars.
Sara McKenzie, 62, of Fairview Road, Ash, was found guilty of the murder of 59-year-old Joy Boulton at her home address in Church View, Ash, on 11 May 2023.
McKenzie had previously been in a long-term relationship with Joy’s fiancé, Trevor Dibnah, and had made efforts to rekindle their relationship.
She accused Trevor of breaking her heart, but he told her that he was not going to leave Joy.
Unable to cope with this news, McKenzie went to Joy’s house with the sole intention of killing her.
There she would strike her multiple times in what Police said was a sustained and ferocious attack with a heavy object, which left her with catastrophic head injuries which were to prove fatal.
Joy’s final brave act was to scratch McKenzie’s face, which proved critical in proving McKenzie was responsible after her DNA was discovered under Joy’s fingernails.
When McKenzie realised that the police had a record of her DNA, she constructed an elaborate cover-up to explain why it would be found under Joy’s fingernails.
She told officers she had been the victim of a robbery earlier that day, during which the female suspect had scratched her and grabbed a handful of her hair.
McKenzie told police that she thought the woman had been after her DNA and tried to suggest that the same woman had also attacked Joy.
Watch: Sara McKenzie tries to explain to officers why her DNA would be found on Joy.
After attacking Joy, McKenzie tried to conceal her crime, disposing of the clothing she had worn and the weapon used. She had a bath to remove any trace of blood and cleaned it up afterwards.
Forensic scientists were able to locate traces of Joy’s blood in McKenzie’s bath using luminol, a substance that can identify a trace of blood that has been diluted 10,000 times.
McKenzie showed absolutely no remorse, went to work as normal and even visited the petrol station to fill up her car. She was later captured on police body-worn footage at the scene of the murder chatting with no apparent concern for Joy.
Paying tribute to Joy, her family said: “We are deeply devastated by this senseless act of violence which has changed our lives forever.
“Joy was a very caring person, who was always ready to help other people whenever she could despite having many health and mobility problems herself. She fought many health problems over the years but always battled on."
They added: “She will be forever missed and always loved. May she rest in peace.”
Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey from the Surrey and Sussex Police Major Crime Team, who investigated the case, said: “Firstly, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Joy Boulton whose loss cannot be underestimated. They have been left devastated by Joy’s death.
“McKenzie’s motive for killing Joy was simple – she wanted what Joy had. McKenzie has a previous history of jealous behaviour including, although it was never proved, burning down a shed containing Trevor’s belongings after finding out he had got engaged to Joy.
“McKenzie went to Joy’s that morning with the sole intention of killing her so that she could get Trevor back. The rage and brutality McKenzie used when she attacked Joy cannot be overstated –sadly, Joy never stood a chance.”
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