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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Mother's relief as killer jailed
Liz Longhurst
Mrs Longhurst said the legal process took its toll on the family
The mother of a Brighton schoolteacher whose killer has been sentenced to life imprisonment for a second time has said she feels justice has been done.

Graham Coutts, 39, of Waterloo Street, Hove, was found guilty after an Old Bailey retrial of murdering Jane Longhurst for his sexual gratification.

He had maintained that Ms Longhurst, 31, from Reading, Berkshire died during a consensual sex game that went wrong.

"I feel so relieved," said her mother, Liz, 76, after sentencing on Thursday.

"Before the result I was afraid the jury might not quite see it the way everybody who knew Jane saw it."

He is in this rut of seeing everything through the eyes of perverted pornography
Liz Longhurst

Coutts, who was obsessed with violent pornography on the internet, strangled Jane with a pair of tights in 2003.

He then kept her body in a commercial storage unit to which he kept returning for a sexual thrill.

The prosecution said he had a "very long-standing and perverted sexual interest in violence to women", including strangulation.

Liz Longhurst said: "I do feel now the public perception is that [Jane] was a wonderful girl and would never have done any of the things that were alleged."

Mrs Longhurst has campaigned for legislation to ban the downloading and possession of violent or "extreme" pornography.

The ban was included in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill announced by the government last month but it still has to be approved by Parliament.

Graham Coutts and Jane Longhurst
Graham Coutts murdered Jane Longhurst in March 2003

The family and Jane's boyfriend, Malcolm Sentence, believe she would still be alive today but for the internet.

"He [Coutts] is so restricted, he is so narrow-minded, he is in this rut of seeing everything through the eyes of perverted pornography," Mrs Longhurst said.

"It is just awful - but I try not to think about him too much."

Judge Richard Hone told the Old Bailey the retrial had been a difficult and traumatic experience for the Longhurst family and Jane's boyfriend.

Det Insp Chris Standard paid tribute to them, saying they had conducted themselves with "great dignity throughout two trials and a very lengthy, very disheartening appeal process".

Mrs Longhurst said she had drawn great strength from her friends and from remembering the happy times the family had with Jane.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Liz Longhurst speaks exclusively to BBC South East Today about the murder of her daughter



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