Cricklewood murderer mutilated his victim’s genitals because she was a lesbian

Michael Purcell has been jailed for life

Michael Purcell has been jailed for life - Credit: Archant

A Cricklewood steelworker who murdered his lesbian flatmate showed his hatred of her sexuality by mutilating her genitals it has been revealed today.

The horrific details were made public as Michael Purcell, 53, was jailed for life today with a minimum tariff of 23 years for the murder of 49-year-old Imelda Molina.

Purcell broke into her room in the flat they shared in Ashford Court, Ashford Road, and stabbed her at least 48 times in the back, chest and groin.

The Old Bailey heard he carried out his murderous attack to steal £1,000 belonging to Ms Molina’s partner Amalia Valdez.

Her half-naked body was discovered minutes later by her distraught partner.

Ms Molina had come to the UK from the Philippines and sent some of her wages back to her poverty-stricken family.

Purcell, who owed £8,000 to the taxman, claimed to have no memory of the attack because of his heavy use of alcohol in the two weeks before.

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Sentencing him, Judge Wendy Joseph QC said she was satisfied Purcell inflicted the injuries to the victim’s genitals because Ms Molina was a woman or a lesbian.

She said: “There has never been a clear account of what happened in the flat but I am satisfied there came a time where Ms Molina was under threat and either fled to her room or was already there and locked the door from the inside.

“When she was dead or dying he made a further attack with the knife in her genital area.

“It is impossible to interpret your decision to carry out this later attack as anything other than an attack made in reference to her sex or sexual orientation which you knew to be lesbian.”

Purcell, who is originally from Ireland, was found guilty of murder and burglary last month.