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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 22:08 GMT 23:08 UK
Murdered girl's mother's anguish
Rochelle Holness
Rochelle had left home to make a phone call
The mother of a murdered and mutilated 15-year-old girl wept at an Old Bailey hearing to decide her killer's fate.

John McGrady, 48, was to be sentenced on Monday, but judge Stephen Kramer adjourned the case until Tuesday saying he had "so much to think about".

McGrady admitted strangling and dismembering Rochelle Holness. Her body was found in Catford, south London.

His lawyer argued he had shown remorse but Rochelle's mother shouted from the court: "You are not sorry".

Convicted rapist McGrady earlier admitted murdering Rochelle in September 2005.

She vanished after she had gone out to call her boyfriend from a phone box when the credit on her mobile phone ran out.

Rochelle was missing for three days, before McGrady cut his wrists and confessed to his girlfriend.

Jennifer Bennett, with her former husband Denron Holness, leaves court
Her mother's life has been devastated
Prosecutor Richard Whittam

She called 999, followed a trail of blood and found the body parts in five plastic bin bags near a rubbish chute in McGrady's block of flats in Milford Towers, Catford.

Jurors heard that on the night of Rochelle's killing, McGrady had been drinking and then had sex with his girlfriend, but had not been satisfied.

As she left that night he said: "What am I going to do? That means I will have to go out and look for someone."

It was not possible to tell from the post-mortem examination whether Rochelle had been sexually assaulted, the court heard.

McGrady was jailed for six years in 1988 for rape and sexual assault on two women. In 1993 he was jailed for five years for kidnapping a young woman at knifepoint.

Suicide attempts

In his defence, Rock Tansey QC said McGrady had pleaded guilty, and was prepared to take full responsibility.

He had tried to commit suicide twice since the murder, the court heard. Mr Tansey asked the judge to give him a fixed minimum sentence, rather than life.

But Rochelle's mother, Jennifer Bennett, wept in court and shouted: "He should not live. He took my baby from me."

Richard Whittam, prosecuting, told the court her life had been "devastated".


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