A British court has convicted a man of murdering a travel agent who was involved in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend, as reported by The Guardian.
Andrew Burke, 31, was sentenced to a minimum of 26 years behind bars on Monday for the January 13 murder of 26-year-old Cassie Hayes.
Burke killed Hayes as some sort of retribution, as Hayes was dating Burke’s ex-girlfriend, Laura Williams. The 31-year-old went to her place of work, a travel agency, and slit her throat in full view of customers and colleagues, which included children.
One of Hayes’ colleagues testified in court that they heard Burke say, “I just want to apologize for what I am about to do,” just before he walked behind the victim and slit her throat with a small knife.
The murder happened one day after Burke was convicted of harassing his ex-girlfriend, though he was released on bail in time to commit his horrific act, according to court testimony. In May of 2017, he pleaded guilty to making malicious communications, as he threatened to kill both Williams and himself on numerous occasions. He walked away from that guilty plea by paying a fine.
Court officials referred to the murder as a “cold-blooded execution” and Magistrate David Aubrey told Burke it was an “act of unspeakable savagery.”
“This was a cowardly act of revenge designed to kill and did kill a totally innocent person in broad daylight in front of, and witnessed by, so many,” he said.
The victim’s sister, Nadine Hayes, spoke to the court and lamented the grief she was facing.
“My whole world gone, life as I knew it before has gone,” she said. “This act has torn so my lives apart.”