Jul 4 2012
A self-confessed "psychopath" has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years after he was found guilty of bludgeoning a pensioner to death with a hammer.
Graeme Jarman struck Judith Richardson, 77, at least 30 times after forcing his way into her flat in Hexham, Northumberland.
Jarman, who denied murder during his trial at Newcastle Crown Court, fled the scene with Miss Richardson's handbag, sparking a major manhunt before he was arrested in Filey, North Yorkshire, a fortnight later.
Jarman, 48, tricked the spinster into opening her front door by showing her Age UK charity leaflets and immediately began battering her.
Her ground-floor flat was ransacked and her jewellery was stolen as she lay dying in her hallway. She was brutally beaten for a second time as the killer left.
During the trial which lasted almost three weeks, Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said the attack was not random and that Jarman had been following potential victims the day before.
What the jury did not know is that Jarman was already convicted of locking a teenage girl in his car boot and raping her at gunpoint. During the seven-hour ordeal he told her he was an "ordinary, everyday psychopath".
A few years later, he barged into a 23-year-old woman's home, tied her up and sexually abused her.
He robbed that victim too, before going on the run, just as he did after murdering Miss Richardson, changing his appearance as he went.
Jarman denied the offence, claiming he took her handbag which had been left outside her home by the real killer.