Saturday 17 August 2019

'Wicked' sex predator serving life for murder of barmaid today admits killing Irish woman (55) in her London home

Catherine Burke (Photo: Central News)
Catherine Burke (Photo: Central News)

Sam Corbishley

A "wicked" sex predator serving life in prison for the brutal murder of a barmaid today admitted stabbing a retired civil servant to death in her own home just weeks earlier.

Catherine Burke, 55, was found bound and gagged at her £700,000 (€778,000) north London home after police responding to concerns about the mother's welfare forced entry on 16 November 2017.

Originally from Galway, Ireland, Ms Burke had lived at the property in Hill Road, Muswell Hill, for around 20 years.

Kasim Lewis, 32, of no fixed address, appeared at the Old Bailey this afternoon where he pleaded guilty to her murder.

He had been due to stand trial this week having previously denied involvement in the killing.

The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Richard Marks QC, remanded Lewis in custody ahead of sentence on Thursday.

Kasim Lewis (Photo: Central News)
Kasim Lewis (Photo: Central News)

At an earlier hearing Paul Jarvis, for the prosecution, said: "The victim in this case is Catherine Burke and she was found stabbed to death at her home address on Thursday 16 November 2017.

"The evidence that links the defendant to her murder is DNA found at the scene and there is mobile telephone evidence from her showing her devices moving as it were in the direction to where the defendant was living.

"Very shortly after when we predict the killing took place – because she wasn't discovered for a number of days between the last contact anybody had with her and when the police were able to gain access to her flat – the phones were taken by him.

"As a result of data obtained from the telephone usage it appears that those phones were active, but not actually at her address at the particular time, meaning they had left the address and at the particular time were, the Crown say, in the possession of this defendant.

Iuliana Tudos (Photo: Central News)
Iuliana Tudos (Photo: Central News)

"He, when arrested, had on his mobile telephone pornographic material showing, we would say, that he has a sexual interest in the sorts of things which he may well have done to Ms Burke prior to killing her.

"I do not really want to go into the graphic detail of it, but My Lord is obviously aware of the conviction for murder he has for an offence committed a matter of weeks after he is said to have murdered Catherine Burke, which the Crown says is capable of showing that he is somebody who has a tendency to use murderous violence towards lone women."

Lewis was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years in May 2018 for the barbaric murder of barmaid Iuliana Tudos in Finsbury Park.

The sexual predator pounced on Ms Tudos as she was walking home on Christmas Eve 2017, weeks after Ms Burke's murder, binding her hands and legs with cable ties and mutilating her with a broken bottle.

Iuliana Tudos (Photo: Central News)
Iuliana Tudos (Photo: Central News)

Worried friends launched a desperate search for the Moldovan-born barmaid when she failed to show up for Christmas festivities the following day.

The 22-year-old's naked body was discovered hidden under a jacket and pieces of wood in a burnt-out shed in the park two days later.

Jailing him on that occasion, Judge Marks said the "barbaric" killing was "wicked beyond belief".

"This was a killing that involved the most appalling brutality," he added.

Lewis was remanded in custody ahead of sentence on July 18.

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