Man jailed for life for murder of woman in South Staffordshire
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A man has been jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years for the murder of a woman in South Staffordshire.
Clive O’Connor, 58, of Bilston, Wolverhampton, was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent court today (Friday 7 July) after he was found guilty of the murder of 52-year-old Jomaa Jerarre yesterday.
Jomaa’s body was found in a layby on the A454 Bridgnorth Road, close to Perton, just before 2.30am on 9 August 2021. Her body was badly burnt and it was quickly established that an accelerant had been used.
Clive O’Connor was identified as one of the last people to see Jomaa alive and he was arrested on 13 August 2021 on suspicion of murder. In a statement, O’Connor told detectives he last saw Jomaa alive in mid-July 2021. However, CCTV footage showed him purchasing items using Jomaa’s debit card at various shops in Bilston up until 31 July.
Jomaa and O’Connor were friends and evidence showed she was living at his flat in Bilston prior to her death.
Evidence suggests that Jomaa died between 3 and 4 August and O’Connor stored her body in a chest freezer in his home for a number of days. He then left her in the layby and set fire to her body in an attempted to destroy evidence and conceal how she died.
The car that O’Connor used, a green Nissan Micra, was seen three times between 12 midnight and 1.40am near to where Jomaa’s body was found. Witnesses saw a small car in the layby on Bridgnorth Road and a man wearing bright orange t-shirt next to it.
A fire was seen minutes later. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) picked up the Nissan Micra just after 9pm the previous night and showed the driver wearing a bright orange top. CCTV confirmed O’Connor was wearing an orange football shirt. This was later seized from his flat.
Although a cause of death could not be determined due to decomposition and damage caused by the fire, there was no evidence that the cause of death was natural or toxicological. The post mortem found that she had had received two forceful neck compressions causing fractures. The most recent was five to ten days before she died. The possibility that she died as a result of fatal neck compression cannot be discounted. Jomaa also had unexplained bruising to her back and upper chest.
Chief Inspector Dan Ison, who led the investigation into Jomaa’s death, said: “My thoughts remain with Jomaa’s family and friends.
“O’Connor will now face the consequences of his ruthless and sinister actions with at least 25 years in prison.
"I would like to acknowledge the professional and thorough work of my colleagues in bringing about the early arrest in the case and for their dedication in bringing the investigation to this conclusion."