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Man found guilty of Worcester murder

Following a West Mercia Police investigation, a 44-year-old man has today been found guilty and sentenced to 33 years imprisonment for the murder of 51-year-old Julie Fox in December last year.

Adrian Jenkins, formerly of Carnforth Drive, Worcester, was convicted and sentenced today (Thursday 28 June) at Birmingham Crown Court following a three-week trial.Adrian Jenkins1
Adrian Jenkins

On the evening of Wednesday 27 December last year, Jenkins' brother raised concerns for Julie after having not seen her for a few days, and asked Jenkins to go with him to check on her. Shortly before 6.50pm, Jenkins then called an ambulance to Julie's bungalow on Carnforth Drive, stating he was her neighbour and was with his brother who had found her collapsed inside. When paramedics attended, they noted a strong smell of gas emanating from her property and tragically found Julie deceased in the hallway; a post-mortem confirmed she had died from a blunt force head injury.

Julie's handbag was also found to be missing from the property, and despite numerous appeals and substantial enquiries, it was never located.

A murder investigation was launched and on 2 January, Adrian Jenkins was arrested. Forensic evidence recovered from Julie's bungalow and extensive analysis of CCTV, mobile phone and Wi-Fi data all pointed towards him as the offender. He was charged with murder on 5 January and was remanded in custody.

Jenkins pleaded not guilty to the murder, but was today found guilty by a unanimous verdict and sentenced to life imprisonment and will serve a minimum of 33 years in prison.

Following the verdict, Julie's brother said: "My sister Julie was a vulnerable disabled woman who was unable to defend herself from the callous cowardly attack. She lived alone and was befriended by Jenkins, who took this opportunity to rob Julie of money and her life.

"My Mum and I would like to thank everyone who has brought this evil man to justice, in particular the officers involved in the investigation, as well as the technical and support staff. Thank you."

Senior Investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Leighton Harding, said: "Julie Fox was a popular and well-known woman in Worcester, and her death during the Christmas period shocked the community. 

"Adrian Jenkins committed the most brutal murder on a defenceless, vulnerable woman and tried unsuccessfully to disguise his crime for five days whilst he carried on as normal over the Christmas period. During this time he paid off debts and bought Christmas gifts.  There was no limit to the depth of depravity he would sink to in order to get away with murder - even placing members of the public and emergency services at risk of harm by turning on the gas hobs of the cooker on in an attempt to cause an explosion. Despite his apparent acts of goodwill for Julie, it was clear he used their friendship and her reliance on him to exploit her vulnerability for his own financial gain. His motive for murder was financial greed."

The investigation established that on Thursday 21 December, Jenkins had taken Julie to Ombersley where she had asked to visit. The next day she was visited by her carer and was described as in good spirits. She spoke about looking forward to going back to Ombersley with Jenkins on Christmas Eve for midnight mass. Soon after Julie's carer left, Jenkins left his bungalow alone. CCTV footage captured him driving along Carnforth Drive passed Julie's bungalow on two occasions before parking up in Ennerdale Close. He then walked directly to Julie's bungalow and let himself in through the front door just after 7.15pm, where he remained inside the property until just after 9.50pm. 

DCI Harding added: "In the time Jenkins was in Julie's home, he brutally attacked and murdered her, showing a total lack of regard for human life. He has been today found guilty of this horrific crime and this dangerous man will now face justice. Our thoughts remain with Julie's family and friends as they continue to come to terms with her death. Whilst no length of sentence can ever ease the pain felt by Julie's loss, I hope that today's verdict and sentence will provide a small sense of closure for her family.

"I would like to thank the witnesses for their valuable contribution in giving evidence in the case and the local community for their support. Finally, I would also like to thank all of the officers, staff and our partner agencies for their professionalism and commitment throughout this complex investigation."   

Issued: 1.40pm, Thursday 28 June, Holly Claydon-Bevan, Corporate Communications

Published 28/06/18