27-year term for man who killed ex
A man who beat his pregnant ex-fiancee to death causing the death of their unborn baby has been jailed for at least 27 years.
Unemployed alcoholic Tony McLernon, 24, of North Grove, Harlow, Essex, was found guilty of murder and child destruction following a trial lasting just over two weeks at Chelmsford Crown Court.
The trial heard he lured Eystna Blunnie, 20, to her death in July last year after telling friends she was trying to ruin his new relationship.
When they met in Howard Way, near her home in Harlow, he jumped on her, kicked her and left her to die in a pool of blood. Miss Blunnie was due to give birth to a girl within days.
Ordering a minimum tariff of 27 years of a life sentence, Mr Justice Fulford said: "It is undoubtedly the case that he brutally and repeatedly attacked Eystna Blunnie during the course of their relationship.
"He told friends he wanted her significantly harmed or killed. In April he strangled her, causing the baby distress. This killing was not the result of an unthinking moment of anger but instead he had contemplated the attack over a long period of time.
"The killing was truly terrible. The horrific screams heard by those nearby show the suffering and pain she suffered and for some period of time she would have been aware of the fatal consequences for herself and her child. He has shown not the slightest shred of remorse."
McLernon showed no emotion as he was led from the dock.
Outside court, Miss Blunnie's uncle, Tony Blunnie, read a statement on behalf of her family. He said: "After a very long and heart-breaking eight months, we have finally received justice for Eystna and her then soon-to-be- born daughter, Rose. Eystna was a loving girl with a unique personality and her whole life ahead of her.
"We know Rose would have been loved, nurtured and given the best in life that's possible. We are pleased the jury saw through his lies and saw him as the evil person he truly was."