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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Life sentence for murder and rape
Colette Magee
Colette Magee had married just prior to her murder
A convicted rapist has been given three life sentences for murdering a newlywed bride and then kidnapping and raping a second woman.

Matthew Thomas, 43, pleaded guilty to the murder of Colette Magee in Luton in November last year.

Thomas, of Dallow Road, Luton, also admitted two counts of rape, one of indecent assault and one count of kidnap of the second woman.

He was sentenced on Wednesday at Luton Crown Court.

Prior record

Thomas had been released from custody just two months before murdering Mrs Magee, 44, by stabbing her twice in the chest.

He had previously served nine years of a 16-year sentence for a rape in Hertfordshire.

Matthew Thomas
Matthew Thomas had entered a guilty plea
He had been jailed at Luton Crown Court in February 1994 on charges of rape, indecent assault, robbery and possession of a firearm.

He was released to an unsupervised night shelter after leaving prison.

Mrs Magee, who has grown-up children from her first marriage, was found in her flat in Marlow House on 10 November after a second woman went to police alleging that she had been raped in the building.

She moved to England in 1987 from Northern Ireland and had only returned to Luton six days before her death, after marrying her second husband, Darwin Dennis, in Jamaica.

Body in room

The 45-year-old rape victim was abducted and forced at knifepoint to drive her own car for 15 minutes to the flat in Luton.

She eventually persuaded Thomas to let her go after 90 minutes and went to police.

When officers raided the flat they found Mrs Magee's body in another room.

The rape victim had not realised it was there during her ordeal.

Man charged with murder and rape
13 Nov 03  |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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