An IT worker who killed his lover and drank champagne with another girlfriend before dumping the corpse in a suitcase was jailed for at least 30 years at the Old Bailey today.
Clinton Bailey, 36, killed Filipino care worker Leah Questin, 37, after she answered his lonely hearts advert on Gumtree. He emptied her bank account then invited a second girlfriend Francina Ncobe to his flat where they drank champagne bought with the victim’s money.
A week later he left the naked body in a suitcase — also containing two cans of air freshner — on remote farmland near Cliffe in Kent in September last year. He then sent texts to Ms Questin referring to her as “angel” and saying “sleep tight” to try and show she was still alive.
Bailey, of Brockley, refused to give evidence and was convicted of murder.
Senmtencing him to life imprisonment, Judge Gerald Gordon said: “The motive was to gain her money as he did while the body was stored in a suitcase in her garage. What he did with her body was dreadful but pales into insignificance in comparison witht he fact that he murdered her.”
Bailey had earlier admitted preventing Ms Questin’s burial and received a concurrent five-year term.
After the verdict Alda Magdalena, Ms Questin’s older sister, described Bailey as “a mad and senseless killer.”
“Leah was an easy person to love, because she was a loving, thoughtful, and caring person,” she said.
“She was conscientious, dedicated and well liked. She loved everyone, had no enemies because she hated no one.
“She was a woman who could always be trusted and relied upon. Knowing her true nature and character; she didn’t deserve the grim and tragic circumstances that led to her death.
“Our grief is hard to contain, knowing how much pain she had to suffer before she took her last breath.”
Ms Questin had come to Britain on a student visa and worked as a care assistant to fund her studies at Thames International College. She had responded to an advert placed on Gumtree under the heading: “Looking for a woman from the Philippines” in August last year.