A “warped and angry” killer who murdered his girlfriend and an associate within weeks of being released from jail has been sentenced to a minimum of 39 years.
Lee Peacock, 50, cut the throats of 46-year-old Sharon Pickles and 59-year-old Clinton Ashmore in London in August 2021.
Peacock had only been released from prison in June the same year – half way through a sentence for aggravated burglary.
Old Bailey judge Mr Justice Murray said the 39-year minimum term meant there was a “strong possibility” he would die in jail.
The murders took place over two days and Peacock tried to cut his own throat after a five-day manhunt led police to a houseboat where he was hiding.
He admitted the killings but denied it was murder, claiming Ms Pickles’ death was an accident and that Mr Ashmore had punched him after he confessed to killing her.
But prosecutors said the murders were “determined” and done with a “warped and angry mind”.
The judge said during Wednesday’s sentencing that Peacock had killed Ms Pickles “in a fit of rage” because of her sexual relationship with another man.
He said it wasn’t premediated but that Mr Ashmore’s murder was.
Jurors had heard that Peacock turned up at his father’s property with Ms Pickles’ kitten in his bag on the evening of 19 August 2021.
His father alerted police and said his son had confessed to killing her.
Officers went to Ms Pickles’ home in Marylebone, central London, and found her body wrapped up and hidden under a bed, with a signed confession nearby.
In the note, Peacock said that Ms Pickles was “meant to live” and he had sworn “revenge” against those who took advantage while he was in jail.
Later that day, he was seen on CCTV walking with Mr Ashmore towards his Westminster flat, then leaving alone 15 minutes later.
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Mr Ashmore was found dead by friends two hours later. Both victims died from similar knife wounds to the neck.
Peacock and the kitten were tracked down on 25 August and when officers arrived he tried to turn the knife on himself, before being restrained.
More notes confessing to the murders and explaining the reasons for them were found in his pocket.
After being treated in hospital, Peacock gave a “chilling” account, saying he had used the same knife in both killings and the attempt on his own life.
Giving evidence, he insisted he was “not a monster” and claimed he never intended to harm either of his victims.