A Shrewsbury man with a violent record of attacking women has been jailed for 17 years for murdering his partner at the offices where she worked in Shrewsbury.
Nigel Woolley left Julie Mercer lying in agony on the floor of Dial-a-Ride on the Sundorne Trade Park. She suffered severe injuries – including a split pancreas and rib fractures – and was found dead at the scene, Worcester Crown Court was told.
A jury took just 45 minutes to find Woolley guilty of murder today. The 46-year-old, of Buttington Way in Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, had previously admitted manslaughter of 47-year-old Miss Mercer on December 23, 2014.
It was revealed after the verdict was delivered that Woolley was already under a suspended sentence for another assault on Miss Mercer before the trial.
Mr Richard Atkins QC, prosecuting, also gave details of assaults carried out by Woolley on women since 2000.
He had appeared before the courts for an assault on his first wife Janine, when he grabbed her by the throat and threw her on a bed. He repeated this conduct over the years, sometimes against his partner Miss Mercer.
Mr Andrew O’Byrne, for Woolley, said his client had no intention of killing Miss Mercer. But Judge Robert Juckes QC said she had an “astonishing” category of rib fractures discovered after her death.
Mr O’Byrne said he recognised that family feelings would continue for many years and probably never abate.
But the judge said he had observed Woolley during the trial and there had been no sign of regret. The number of injuries on his victim showed that he must have carried out attacks on her body for many years.
The judge accepted that she must have become angry on occasions but then she was attacked.
On Christmas Eve 2014, they met at her place of work after they had fallen out. After drinking heavily, she fell off a chair and when he returned after getting fast food, she was lying on the floor. He walked over her, causing injuries which split her pancreas.
Critically injured, she lost blood and lay there until her boss unlocked the next day.
Mr Atkins read statements to the court on the effects of the case upon the family.
Miss Mercer's mother said she had difficulty in sleeping and living from day to day. Woolley's daughter Samantha had to leave the family address and had to arrange her mother's funeral arrangements and financial affairs.
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