‘Jealous’ killer who slit girlfriend’s throat and hid body under bed is jailed

A "jealous boyfriend" who slit his girlfriend's throat weeks after he was released from jail will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Lee Peacock, 50, was sentenced at the Old Bailey to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 39 years after he killed his partner, Sharon Pickles, 46, and wrapped her body in a duvet before stashing it under the bed on August 16 2021.

The "warped and angry" killer also murdered Clinton Ashmore, 59, during a two-day killing spree in central London.

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Peacock also turned the 4cm knife on himself when cops traced him and eventually located him on a houseboat on the Grand Union Canal after a five-day search.

Peacock was still under supervision by probation services and had only been out of jail on a previous charge of aggravated burglary since June 4, 2021, before he admitted to slaying the pair.

However the murderer, who is also a self-confessed burglar, denied murder charges as he said the death of his "other half" was a "pure accident".

He also claimed that Mr Ashmore was part of a gang and "went mental" when Peacock explained what happened to Ms Pickles, by punching him in the head.

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Peacock also claimed his male victim had sold Ms Pickles drugs and "exploited her" while he was in jail.

He previously told jurors: "I know I'm not a monster. I never wanted to harm my partner. Clinton, I'm sorry but he caused it."

Peacock was understood to have self-harmed when police found him and was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

But at trial, prosecutor Edward Brown KC had described Peacock’s actions as "cold-blooded" and "determined."

Questioning Peacock, he said: "So far as Sharon Pickles is concerned, your account is that it was a complete accident. And to the extent that you caused the injuries that you did in a sense you were in control of your actions but it was an accident?"

Peacock replied: "Not in any possible way did I intend to cause Sharon harm or serious harm. It's impossible. In 15 years I have known her I have never ever been violent to anyone."

Mr Brown then added: "I suggest you were exceptionally angry at the idea that Sharon had been having sexual relations – 'your girl'."

When asked how he had so easily produced a knife, Peacock explained: "It was in my hand when I got it out to show him because he did not believe I killed Sharon – I did it and immediately I was horrified."

The judge Mr Justice Murray added that Peacock "lashed out at Sharon in a fit of rage, jealous of her sexual relationship with another man" and said while the murder of Ms Pickles was not planned, there was “a significant level of premeditation and planning” in Mr Ashmore's killing.

A jury deliberated for two hours and 20 minutes on Tuesday (January 31) before finding Peacock guilty of the murders after hearing the killer had set out to "punish" his girlfriend.

Sentencing was adjourned until this morning (Wednesday, February 1), when the killer, who refused to attend the hearing, was handed the life sentence.

In comments addressed to Peacock, who will receive them in written form, the judge Mr Justice Murray said: “The minimum term I must impose in this case means that even if you live a long life, there is a strong possibility that you will die in prison even before you are eligible for consideration for release by the Parole Board.

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“Having considered all the circumstances in relation to both murders, and taking into account the aggravating factors, I intend to impose concurrent life sentences.”

Ms Pickles' father David Pickles said in a victim impact statement that his daughter's killing, which came just two years after his wife's death, "left him numb".

"It doesn't feel real that Sharon is gone, I miss her more than words can describe," he said.

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