Neasden killer sentenced to life in jail for stabbing woman with sword

Justice Cruickshank killed Helen Dillon with a machete

Justice Cruickshank killed Helen Dillon with a machete - Credit: Archant

An amateur DJ from Neasden has been jailed for life after fatally stabbing a former girlfriend with a martial arts sword.

Justice Cruickshank, 55, of Mandarin Court, will serve a minimum of 22 years for the murder of Helen Dillon in Prout Grove on 29 May.

The 42-year-old mother of one was pinned against a garage wall, and stabbed six inches into her chest severing two arteries and piercing a lung, infront of members of the public, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson, Recorder of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, told Cruickshank: “You have been found guilty of murdering your friend Helen Dillon, whose life you took senselessly and needlessly.”

The judge said his ‘decision to take a fearsome weapon’ with him and that he was ‘in an alcohol fuelled rage’ led up to what was a ‘sustained and prolonged attack’ during ‘an awful act of violence on the streets’.

The court heard how Cruickshank had a brief relationship with Dillon while she was in a relationship with her boyfriend Tom Woods, known to Cruickshank for 30 years.

On the day of the murder Cruickshank met Ms Dillon on the way to her flat where a row developed between all three.

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Witnesses saw Cruickshank punch Ms Dillon, throwing her to the ground and kicking her.

When confronted by a passer by Cruickshank pulled out the knife hidden in his trousers, terrifying the man’s seven-year-old son.

Once Ms Dillon and Mr Woods caught up with the killer, he pushed her against the garage door and ‘smashed’ the knife into her chest with ‘8/10 force’.

The judge added Ms Dillon was ‘in no position to escape’ from the ‘sustained violence’ he unleashed.

Cruickshank told police he had earlier downed two glasses of vodka and eight cans of Budweiser but claimed someone had spiked his drink.

The killer admitted manslaughter but a jury of eight men and four women returned a unanimous guilty verdict of murder.

Jailed for life he will spend a minimum of 22 years before he can be considered for parole.