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  1. ITV Report

Man jailed for life for murdering mother-of-five from Middlesbrough

24-year-old Stephen Charlton has been given a life sentence for the murder of Natalie Saunders Photo: Cleveland Police

A man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a mother of five from Middlesbrough.

24-year-old Stephen Charlton was sentenced on Thursday 18 April at Teesside Crown Court for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Natalie Saunders.

Her body was found in the Brambles Farm area last October. The jury heard she'd sustained more than 50 separate injuries in what was described as 'an orgy of violence.'

The court heard Natalie Saunders suffered horrendous injuries Credit: Gazzette Media Company Syndication

Charlton, who was in an abusive relationship with the mum for four months, was on licence for a previous offence after being jailed in 2014 for six years. The court was told that she was accustomed to being used as a "human punchbag" during their time together.

The body of Natalie Saunders was recovered from a house in Middlesbrough Credit: Gazzette Media Company Syndication

Judge Ashurst jailed Charlton for a minimum term of 21 years.

The minimum term is not a fixed term after which you will be released.

It will be for the Parole Board to say at that time whether or not you will be released."

– Judge Ashurst