Jemma Mitchell has become the first woman in England to be handed a life sentence on television – but who is she and what led to the murder of her friend?

The self-styled healer, 38, will serve at least 34 years in jail for killing 67-year-old Mee Keun Chong at her Wembley home in June last year.

Two weeks after the murder, she drove more than 200 miles to the seaside town of Salcombe in Devon where she left devout Christian Ms Chong’s decapitated and badly decomposed body in woods.

Who is she?

Mitchell had grown up in Australia, where her mother worked for the British Foreign Office and had set up an osteopathy business there before returning to the UK in 2015.

On her website, she had claimed she was “attuned to subjects in neuroanatomy, genetics and dissection of human cadavers”.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Jemma Mitchell pictured in 2016Jemma Mitchell pictured in 2016 (Image: Jonathan Goldberg)

Online she also boasted of her award-winning skill in human dissection.

Since moving back to the UK, Mitchell was unemployed as she focused on her ill-fated home renovation project in Willesden, which has been beset with problems.

She was never registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), so could not legally practise as an osteopath in Britain.


She also had a conviction for breach of a non-molestation order relating to family members.

In 2016, she received a conditional discharge at North West London Magistrates’ Court for breaching the order in respect of her sister and brother-in-law.

How did she meet Mee Keun Chong?

The alternative therapist became friends with Ms Chong, also known as Deborah, through a church group.

Mitchell also acted as a spiritual healer for Ms Chong.

However the two had a falling out during the house renovation process, when Ms Chong agreed to pay money while Mitchell was in desperate need of money.

Ms Chong agreed to pay around £200,000, but changed her mind.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Mee ChongMee Chong (Image: Met Police)

In the months leading up to her murder, she had berated Mitchell for being a messy “hoarder”.

She appeared to change her mind about bankrolling Mitchell’s building work, telling her she should sell her house and enjoy the money instead.

Mitchell’s legal team suggested that the Willesden property, which had been in Mitchell's family for generations, was worth £4 million and she had £93,000 in the bank so did not need the money.

How did Ms Chong die?

It was claimed on her behalf that the prosecution had failed to prove that she was involved or that Ms Chong was even murdered, as a post-mortem examination found the cause of death was “unascertained”.

However, a pathologist said her skull fractures could have been caused by being pushed on to a protruding surface or being hit with a weapon, although none was ever recovered.

Brent & Kilburn Times: A suitcase was used to carry Ms Chong's bodyA suitcase was used to carry Ms Chong's body (Image: Met Police)

Multiple rib fractures could have been caused by Ms Chong being stuffed inside a suitcase Mitchell was seen wheeling away or during resuscitation attempts, jurors heard.

What exactly happened?

Ms Chong was last seen alive on June 10 by one of her lodgers.

She was hit on the head with a weapon at her home, and her decapitated and badly decomposed body was found in Salcombe, Devon, two weeks later.

CCTV footage showed Mitchell leaving the direction of Ms Chong’s address on June 11 with two large and apparently heavy suitcases.

After getting a minicab back to her house, it appeared Mitchell kept the body in her property for around two weeks before driving to Salcombe in Devon on June 26 and dumping Ms Chong’s remains.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Jemma Mitchell struggled to carry the heavy suitcase into a carJemma Mitchell struggled to carry the heavy suitcase into a car (Image: Met Police)

During this time Mitchell made a false report to a missing persons charity and sent a message to Ms Chong’s lodger saying she had gone to spend time with her family for a year “somewhere close to the ocean”.

Her headless body was found on June 27 off Bennett Road, Salcombe.

What did Mitchell do after the body was found?

Mitchell forged a copy of Ms Chong’s will ensuring 95 per cent of the estate was left in her name. This was found at Mitchell’s property following her arrest on July 6.

Identity documents for a neighbour of Mitchell’s who had died in May 2021 were also found. Mitchell had used this person’s identity as a witness to the forged will, as well as reactivating their mobile phone, which she used to hire a car to transport Deborah’s body to Devon.