Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Thursday, 6 March 2008

Man convicted of hammer murders

(L to R) Kesha Wizzart, Beverly Samuels and her son Fred
Kesha, Beverly and Fred Wizzart suffered catastrophic injuries

A man has been given three life sentences for battering to death his former girlfriend and her two children with a hammer at the family's home.

Pierre Williams, of Birmingham, denied killing Beverley Samuels, 36, her son Fred Wizzart, 13, and daughter Kesha Wizzart, 18, at Manchester Crown Court.

The 33-year-old was also convicted of sex assaults on the two women.

He has been ordered to serve a minimum of 38 years in prison for the killings in Manchester on 12 July last year.

Judge Mr Justice Christopher Pitchford said: "Pierre Williams is a man with a low threshold for sexual frustration.

"Just as he had in the past with a previous girlfriend, he took out his frustration by treating Beverley and her daughter with gross sexual aggression.

Kesha Wizzart
Kesha had appeared on ITV's Young Stars In Their Eyes

"Only he can know what terror and pain he inflicted upon them before they died."

Manchester Crown Court was told blood from each of his victims was found on a pair of his shorts.

Giving evidence, Williams had blamed "a hooded figure" for the attacks.

Mrs Samuels, a nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary, was sexually assaulted before being struck with at least seven blows to the head.

Her daughter Kesha had her hands tied behind her back before she was killed in the same manner.

Mrs Samuels' teenage son was found on the floor in the same bedroom as his mother.

The court was told that Williams, of Selly Oak, had a history of sexual violence against women.

'Cold-blooded killer'

Police believe other women may have suffered at his hands and are urging them to come forward.

Speaking after the sentencing Det Supt Ian Foster said the streets of Manchester and Birmingham are "safer places" because Williams was now behind bars.

"Pierre is an arrogant, dangerous man and the streets of Manchester and Birmingham are safer tonight because he is behind bars.

Pierre Williams
Pierre Williams scuffled with guards in court
"I suspect there will be a number of women who have suffered at his hands.

"He's your typical cold-blooded killer. He does not take no for an answer, he does not accept rejection. This was a cold, calculated attack."

A former girlfriend of Williams told jurors that on one occasion he had throttled her until she passed out before raping her.

On another occasion he forced his way into her home telling her he had a gun.

"I did think he was going to kill me that night," she said.

In court Kesha Wizzart was described as a hardworking teenager who intended to read law at university and wanted to be a barrister.

The ripples of their deaths have permeated far and beyond our imagination.
Victims' family statement

In 2004 she appeared on ITV's Young Stars In Their Eyes singing Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart.

Ray Wigglesworth QC, for the prosecution, described the killings as "execution-style" to satisfy a perverted sexual pleasure.

Just hours before the murders, Williams was seen socialising with two female friends in Manchester and described as "his usual cheery self".

The court was told he met Mrs Samuels in the summer of 2005 - a year after she broke up with the father of her children.

Williams' year-long relationship with her was described by the prosecution as disjointed and intermittent.

'Terrible date'

The jury of seven men and five women took just three hours and 15 minutes to find Williams guilty of the murders and sexual assaults.

However, when the first verdict was read out he scuffled with guards in the dock and had to be restrained by three officers.

He was taken to the cells shouting "I'm innocent."

The judge refused to allow him back into the dock to hear his sentence following his outburst.

Outside court, police read a statement from the victims' family.

"The loss of Beverley, Kesha and Fred has been, and will continue to be, the most traumatic experience of our lives," it read.

"The ripples of their deaths have permeated far and beyond our imagination.

"Our whole lives now surround that terrible date. Birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries are all now lost to memories."

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Footage of Kesha Wizzart on the stage

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