A dad from Bulwell who brutally beat his girlfriend to death during a holiday to celebrate her 64th birthday has been jailed for life.
Andrew Highton, 51, of Highbury Road, launched a vicious attack on Linda Treeby in a caravan at the Lincolnshire seaside resort of Ingoldmells, leaving her to die in a pool of blood.
Highton, who denied murder and claimed she attacked him first, showed no emotion as the jury delivered their Guilty verdict after deliberating for 90 minutes at Lincoln Crown Court.
He was sentenced yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years before he could be considered for parole.
The court heard that the couple had been in an on-off relationship for seven years which was described as “dysfunctional”.
Passing sentence, Judge John Burgess told Highton: “What you did to her was sustained, savage and brutal.
“This was an awful death that was the culmination of a toxic relationship, rather than something that involved any planning.
“But it is plain that the amount of violence you were prepared to use was almost inevitably going to lead to her death.”
The murder happened on Linda’s birthday, Wednesday, May 29, this year when the couple were staying at the Summerlands caravan park.
The court heard that Highton turned on her when they returned to their caravan after a session of drinking and playing pool at a nearby bar.
He punched, kicked and stamped on her, and also smashed a heavy glass ashtray in her face. She was struck repeatedly with such force that she received 34 separate injuries to her body, as well as bleeding on the brain. Her nose was shattered into pieces, and a bone in her throat was also fractured.
After the attack, he walked off to a relative’s home in nearby Skegness. But a passer-by had witnessed some of the attack through the caravan window and had run to a pub for help. Highton was later arrested.
Highton, who worked in the hosiery trade and had previous convictions for domestic violence and arson, claimed he acted in self-defence after Linda became aggressive towards him.
She taunted him with personal comments about his family, calling him a pervert, and punched him in the head, he told the jury.
He added: “I lost it. I hit her three or four times, but I didn’t want to hurt her. I loved her very much.”
Mother-of-three Linda, a school caretaker, texted one of her daughters minutes before she died, saying she’d “had enough” and was returning home the next morning.
In a victim-impact statement read to the court, daughter Maree Moran said: “Our lives are devastated by the loss of our mum. The way she died is heartbreaking.
“I warned her he would kill her one day, and now he has done it.”