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Torture killer jailed for 20 years

A SADIST who systematically tortured his 17-year-old girlfriend for up to a month before drowning her in the bath was jailed for a minimum of 20 years yesterday.

James Patterson Smith (49) was found guilty of murdering Kelly Anne Bates at the home they shared in Gorton, Greater Manchester.

He had gouged her eyes up to three weeks before her death and stabbed her in the face and body with scissors and forks.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had 150 separate injuries. She had a fractured arm, and had been scalded, branded with a domestic iron and partially scalped.

In the four weeks leading to her death she was kept a prisoner, rendered helpless after being blinded, she had been kept without food, tied by her hair to a radiator.

Peter Openshaw, counsel for the prosecution, told the jury at Manchester Crown Court that the girl's ``physical pain would have been intense, causing anguish and torment to the point of mental breakdown and collapse''.

The jury had heard how Kelly Anne had formed a relationship with Smith, who was unemployed, when she was 14. She moved in with him in November 1995.

But as her relationship with Smith continued her parents became increasingly concerned about her welfare.

Her mother Margaret told the jury she knew her daughter's body would be found one day.

The court heard evidence from Smith's ex-wife and girlfriends who told of his repeated violence and obsessive jealousy.

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