Man jailed for more than 25 years for murder of woman on Christmas Day
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A man has been jailed for more than 25 years for the murder of a woman on Christmas Day in 2021.
Lucy Clews, aged 39, from West Chadsmoor, was found dead at her home on 29 December 2021, after her mother raised concerns about not hearing from her over the festive period.
Thomas Grant, aged 28, of no fixed address, had denied killing Miss Clews at her property, claiming someone else was responsible.
However, he was found guilty of murder by a jury following a five-week trial at Stafford Crown Court on Tuesday 8 August.
Today (Monday 30 October), he was sentenced to 25 years and 152 days for Lucy’s murder.
The court heard how Grant met recently-widowed Lucy on Christmas Eve. She offered him a place to stay over Christmas as he had nowhere else to go.
It was the prosecution’s case that Grant stole and sold Lucy’s jewellery – including her wedding ring and a necklace belonging to her late husband – in order to raise money for drugs. He also sold Lucy’s mobile phone.
He was then spotted on CCTV on Christmas Day having left the scene of the murder.
When he was arrested in Hednesford on 30 December 2021, Grant gave a false name to officers and said he didn’t have any tattoos, before officers asked him to roll up his sleeves.
His possessions were found at her home. A knife was found at the scene which contained both Lucy’s and Grant’s DNA.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Lucy sustained multiple ‘severe’ stab wounds and had been strangled prior to her death.
Grant later made admissions to officers while in custody awaiting trial, though he later retracted these, claiming that officers had ‘lied’ about what he had said.
In a statement, Lucy’s family said: “We cannot express in words the hurt we feel in losing Lucy.
“We will never know what the future would have held for her.
“The sorrow and pain will never go away, but it is some comfort to us to know that justice has been served.”
Lucy’s mum, Linda said: “I will always love Lucy, my daughter and my memories of her will live on. I always had her in my mind, no matter where she was.”
Lucy’s grandmother, Elizabeth said: “I love her and will always love her, forever and always.”
Senior Investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Hannan, of the force’s major and organised crime department, said: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Lucy’s family and friends at this time.
“This was a horrific, cruel and exceptionally violent attack on a vulnerable, grieving widow who had offered him a place to stay. Grant has shown no remorse, his exploitation and deceit was part of the background of Lucy’s killing.
“The sentence will never bring Lucy back and it will not heal their sense of loss, but I do hope it represents justice.”