'Evil' killer jailed for 22 years

THE family of a woman killed by her jilted boyfriend have spoken of their relief after he was convicted of her murder and jailed for a minimum of 22 years.

THE family of a woman killed by her jilted boyfriend have spoken of their relief after he was convicted of her murder and jailed for a minimum of 22 years.

Thirty-seven-year-old Dawn Walker's family and friends applauded the Ipswich Crown Court jury's verdict at the end of a six-week trial yesterday - while members of 45-year-old Kevin Nunn's family ran sobbing from the courtroom.

Outside the court, a statement read out by Miss Walker's mother, Jean, said: “The murder of my daughter was a great shock which will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

“Our case has finally been heard after a delay of 10 months and Kevin Nunn has been found guilty. It was a horrific murder and he has shown himself to be a vindictive, deceitful and evil man who has clearly been a danger to unsuspecting women.

“I am sure many people will be surprised to know that he was released from remand and custody 11 months preceding the trial and the court granted him bail which allowed him to remain in the community. Today he is locked up and he is no longer a threat to the public.

“I would like to thank the jury for their deliberations and the police team for the hours spent on the painstaking investigation which has made this prosecution possible.”

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Sheena Van Oevelen, Miss Walker's sister, described Nunn as a perverted criminal who had shown no remorse or guilt.

“You disposed of her body in such a disgusting and undignified way,” she said. “I wish upon you all the darkness you have inflicted on our lives for the rest of you life.”

Ordering Nunn, who had denied murdering Miss Walker after she ended their two-year relationship, to serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars the trial judge, Mrs Justice Laura Cox, said he had been “consumed with jealousy” throughout their relationship and had decided that if he couldn't have her no-one else would.

She said although there had been no significant degree of planning before the murder she was in no doubt that Nunn had intended to kill Miss Walker.

She said that after her death Miss Walker's body had been subjected to “abusive and vindictive acts of degradation” which included her hair being cut off and petrol being poured over her genital area before being set alight.

Mrs Justice Cox described Miss Walker, of Oak Close, Fornham St Martin, as a “kind, outgoing, conscientious and dependable” woman who enjoyed an independent and active lifestyle with many male and female friends.

She said that during his two-year relationship with Miss Walker, Nunn had been “consumed” with jealousy. “This was a jealousy which led you ultimately to kill her and led you to abuse and discard her body.”

She said his jealousy was illustrated in the way he had followed her when she went out and had sat in his car spying on her when she was at home.

He had also checked her mobile phone, questioned her about her movements and friendships and had a key cut to her house so he could gain access without her knowledge when she was out.

Mrs Justice Cox said that giving evidence during the trial, Nunn's ex-wife Vanessa Warner had described the way he had stalked her after their divorce as a “kind of ownership”.

“You didn't want to be with her but didn't want her to be with anyone else. It bore a chilling resemblance to your conduct in this case,” she told Nunn.

Passing sentence she said that in January 2005 Miss Walker had decided to end her two year relationship with him after deciding to rekindle her relationship with a former boyfriend.

“You were aware of that and you decided if you couldn't have her no other man could.”

She said she was satisfied that Nunn was the person seen arguing with Miss Walker outside her home at about 10pm on February 2 last year and that he killed her that night or in the early hours of the next morning.

“Exactly what you did to her when you killed her I don't know but I have no doubt that you intended to kill her,” said Justice Cox.

She said it was not known where Nunn had kept Miss Walker's body after killing her and who had been helping him when he was seen struggling to put her concealed body into a car hours before it was discovered semi-naked near the River Lark in Fornham Park, near Bury St Edmunds on February 4.

She went on to say that after killing Miss Walker Nunn had deliberately set about covering his tracks and carefully constructing a plan to suggest he hadn't been involved in her disappearance.

This included pretending she had sent him a voicemail message on his mobile phone which he claimed he had inadvertently deleted.

He had also sent text messages and tried to call her on her phone to make it look as if he was trying to find her and had then given a “public display of concern” by going to her house and looking through her letterbox.

Mrs Justice Cox said an aggravating feature of the case was the way the defence had sought to point the finger of blame for Miss Walker's death at one of her former boyfriends who lived near her in Oak Close.

“The jury saw through this attempt to deceive and mislead them. They were sure as am I of your guilt of this offence.”

After commending Det Supt Roy Lambert and his officers for their “thorough and painstaking” work during the investigation, she paid tribute to Miss Walker's mother and one of her sisters who had sat through the case.

She said that they had listened to evidence which must have been disturbing and distressing with “courage, fortitude and great dignity”.

At the start of the trial Nunn, formerly of Wrights Way, Woolpit, was in the dock with 37-year-old Nigel Hill, of Tostock Road, Beyton, who had denied helping to dispose of Miss Walker's body. He was found not guilty half way through the case on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence against him.

During the trial the court heard that on February 2 2005 - the night Miss Walker was last seen alive -she had told Nunn she wanted to end their relationship.

After killing her, the prosecution claimed he had taken her body to Duck Sluice Farm in Fornham Park, Bury St Edmunds and after taping it to railings had set light to it with petrol causing 95 per cent burns to the surface.

The body had then been removed before being deposited the following day close to a footpath near the River Lark where it was discovered by a woman out walking with her daughter.

Miss Walker's body was naked from the waist down and her hair had been cut off.

Giving evidence during the trial Nunn denied arguing with Miss Walker on the last night she was seen alive and said it had been a mutual decision to end their relationship after it had been drifting for several months.

Martyn Levett, for Nunn, said his client was not suffering from any psychiatric illness and he had no previous convictions.

He said that Nunn maintained his innocence and what happened to Miss Walker on the night in question and how she met her death would remain an “agonising and unresolved issue” for her family.

After the hearing, Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert, who headed the murder investigation, praised the team work of all officers and staff involved in the case.

He said: “Dawn is remembered by her family as a loving person with a real zest for life. Her life was tragically cut short by an appalling crime which left her local community deeply shocked.

“Today's conviction comes after months of work by our enquiry team, who gathered and analysed a large volume of information and remained focused on solving the case throughout.

“This case underlines the important role that the local community, including the media, can play in helping the police solve a crime.

“Evidence from a key witness within the local community, who saw some suspicious activity, was crucial to this case. The witness was prompted to contact the police by local media coverage of the enquiry.”

The Crown Prosecution Service also welcomed the news. Robert Sadd, Crown Prosecutor in the case, said “Nothing can bring Dawn back but I hope that the jury's decision today helps reassure Dawn's family that justice has been done.”

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