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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 19:07 GMT
Life for samurai sword murderer
Carie Burns
Carie Burns died after being stabbed twice with the sword
A man has been jailed for life for murdering his 21-year-old housemate after arguing with her at a party in County Durham.

Carie Burns, of Kendal, died in hospital after being stabbed with a samurai sword, then run over with a car in the street in Consett in May 2006.

Hugh Penrose, 36, of Thomas Street, Consett, had previously denied the charge at Newcastle Crown Court.

But he pleaded guilty on 12 February. He must serve at least 19 years.

The court heard how amphetamine addict Penrose snapped while he was bickering with Miss Burns and repeatedly attacked her with the 18-inch blade.

This was a sustained, brutal, savage attack on a defenceless woman with two lethal weapons, a sword and a motor car
Judge David Hodson

She managed to stagger outside Penrose's home and was deliberately hit with his Ford Mondeo as he sped away from the murder scene.

Judge David Hodson told him he must serve a minimum of 19 years before he is eligible for parole.

"This was a sustained, brutal, savage attack on a defenceless woman with two lethal weapons, a sword and a motor car," Judge Hodson said.

Miss Burns had only moved to the area from Cumbria three weeks before she died.

Trusting nature

At an earlier hearing it was revealed that Penrose had been jailed for five years in 1995 after stabbing a police constable, Richard Green, with a screwdriver while out stealing cars in Scarborough.

As he left the dock Penrose smirked and waved to a friend.

The victim's relatives shouted "You'll die in prison", and another branded him "scum".

Outside court, Miss Burns' mother Tracey Wilson said: "She so didn't deserve this.

"She always gave people the benefit of the doubt and always wanted to be judged the same way.

"She took people as she found them and because of her trusting nature, she has gone."

Party-goer admits samurai murder
12 Feb 07 |  England
Man in court over party stabbing
24 May 06 |  England

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