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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 12:13 GMT
Teacher's killer jailed for life
Robert Symons
Robert Symons worked as a science teacher in Queen's Park
A drug addict who stabbed a homeowner to death after breaking into his 1m house has been jailed for life.

Teacher Robert Symons, 45, was stabbed by Yusuf Bouhaddaou after he went to investigate noises during the night at his home in Chiswick, west London.

The 28-year-old had been released early from jail after committing other burglaries and would have known capture meant a long sentence, the court heard.

The judge ordered Bouhaddaou, from west London, to serve a minimum of 27 years.

No matter how severe the sentence, nothing can bring Rob back
Louise Delahunty, Ms Davies' solicitor

Bouhaddaou of Notting Hill, west London, had admitted burglary but denied murdering Mr Symons in October 2004.

Home Office review

He had been released from prison on licence five weeks before killing Mr Symons and said he had committed several burglaries to fund his drug addiction after prison.

A Home Office spokesman said Mr Symons's death was "deeply regretted" and said a review of the case is already being carried out.

On the night of the murder, Bouhaddaou spotted a Lexus sports car parked outside Mr Symons' house and broke in to try and find the keys.

The noise woke Mr Symons, who had been asleep upstairs with his wife Linda Davies and their two young daughters.

Yusuf Bouhaddaou
Bouhaddaou was out of jail on licence when he killed Mr Symons

The science teacher, who worked in Queen's Park, went to investigate and found Bouhaddaou in his home, having prised off the letterbox and opened the front door.

His wife heard a scuffle, went downstairs in a panic, and found her husband covered in blood on the floor.

He had been stabbed in the chest and bled to death very quickly, the Old Bailey heard.

The jury took 40 minutes to convict Bouhaddaou of murder. He had claimed Mr Symons approached him with a knife.

But the Common Serjeant of London Judge Brian Barker said: "I am quite satisfied that you realised Mr Symons was nearby and in your way.

"You swiftly armed yourself and delivered a hard and fatal blow before making good your escape, leaving him to die on his dinning room floor.

Within weeks of your release on licence, you reverted to being a night-time burglar for your own selfish needs
Judge Brian Barker

"Any invasion of a family home causes untold distress but to take a life is totally unacceptable and leaves scars which will never heal."

He added: "This was a terrifying and terrible episode for all those concerned.

"Within weeks of your release on licence, you reverted to being a night-time burglar for your own selfish needs."

Speaking after the sentencing, Ms Davies' solicitor Louise Delahunty said: "Justice has now been done and the defendant has received a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years.

"No matter how severe the sentence, nothing can bring Rob back."

Hear details of the case against Bouhaddaou


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