Jealous boyfriend, 35, is jailed for life for brutally murdering his partner, 26, moments after they had sex by strangling her with a dressing gown cord and stabbing her because he thought she had cheated on him

  • Carl Chadwick, from Leeds, was jailed today for the brutal murder of Sarah Keith
  • After the attack he covered body with a curtain, watched porn and took cocaine
  • Sarah’s father told the court their family had been left ‘broken’ by the killing 

A jealous boyfriend has been jailed for life after he brutally murdered his partner moments after having sex with her because he thought she had cheated on him, a court has heard.

Drink and drug-fuelled Carl Chadwick, 35, was sentenced to a minimum term of 25 years today after he strangled Sarah Keith, 26, with a dressing gown cord and stabbed her in the heart.

Leeds Crown Court heard he launched the savage assault as revenge because he thought Ms Keith had cheated on him while he was in prison.

It was not confirmed in court either way whether this was the case. 

Drink and drug-fuelled Carl Chadwick, 35, strangled Sarah Keith, 26, with a dressing gown cord and stabbed her in the heart

Chadwick armed himself with the dressing gown cord before having sex with his partner, it was heard.

Afterwards he positioned himself behind Ms Keith and, as she got to her feet, he ‘quickly’ put the cord behind her neck and strangled her.

To ensure the woman was dead, he then got a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her five times in the heart.

After concluding the heinous attack, it was heard, Chadwick covered her body with a curtain, watched pornography and took cocaine.

The killer intended to flee but ended up wandering Leeds for a number of hours the next day before handing himself into West Yorkshire Police.

Chadwick, who admits murder, appeared in the dock at Leeds Crown Court this morning, ahead of his sentencing later in the day.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said Chadwick has a long-standing history of drug and alcohol misuse and became convinced that Ms Keith had been unfaithful to him.

The prosecutor said: ‘On this basis, he developed a settled intention to kill her, thinking about it, on his own account, ‘several times a week.’

‘Sarah was, of course, oblivious to this and their relationship continued.’

The court heard how the murder took place after the couple had been out drinking at a pub in Leeds on April 12 this year. 

They remained there all afternoon and evening, and continued drinking at a friend’s house after closing time before going to Ms Keith’s flat at around 1am.

The defendant said he had six or seven pints and also bought a double whisky every time he went to the bar at the pub.

The family of Sarah Keith (pictured) told a court the brutal murder had left them ‘broken’

Mr Sharp said the couple were both ‘well in drink’ by that time and Chadwick had taken cocaine.

He said: ‘Once home, and after the defendant had viewed some pornographic material on his phone, the defendant instigated sexual intercourse with Sarah.’

The court heard they moved from the bedroom to the living room where Chadwick put a duvet down on the floor.

Mr Sharp continued: ‘As they made this move the defendant took her dressing gown cord and hid it behind his back, saying to himself ‘I’m going to do this’, i.e. kill her.

‘He positioned himself so he was behind Sarah, in a position where she could not see what he was about to do.’

The fatal attack took place after they had sex.

Mr Sharp said: ‘As Sarah got up – she did not have good balance and the defendant was aware of this – he quickly put the cord around her neck and began strangling her.

‘The absence of defensive injuries on her shows that she was taken completely off her guard and was unable to put up any resistance.

‘He decided to ensure her death by getting a knife from the kitchen and stabbing her to the heart five times.

‘The condition of the body post mortem indicated that she was still alive when he did this.’

Mr Sharp said Chadwick formed the intention of running away to Blackpool.

He added: ‘However, after some aimless wandering around the centre of Leeds, he then handed himself in at Elland Road shortly after 3pm.

‘He made comprehensive admissions to desk staff and later in formal interview.

‘The police went to the flat and their observations confirmed the accuracy of his admissions.’

Chadwick was jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 25 years at Leeds Crown Court (pictured) today

Following his arrest, Chadwick pleaded guilty to murder but he denies that there is a sexual motive to the killing.

Chadwick gave evidence before the court this morning.

He said: ‘I am really sorry for what happened. I did love Sarah no matter what people heard or see in this court.

‘She did a lot for me and so did her family. I just want to express that I am deeply sorry for what I have done.’

In a heart-breaking victim impact statement, read out in court, Sarah’s father Andrew Keith said their family were left ‘broken’ following the brutal murder.

Mr Keith said Sarah’s daughter Emma was unable to understand what happened and still asked if she was going to get better until her ashes were returned to the family.

The statement, read to the court by prosecutor Jonathan Sharp, Mr Keith said: ‘Carl, what you have done has broken my family apart.

‘We are all broken, especially Emma, Sarah’s daughter.

‘You have broken her heart. She does not understand what has happened.

‘Until her ashes were returned to us, she asked if her mum was going to get better.

‘She could not understand that her mum was not getting better and would not be coming home to her.’

Chadwick and Ms Keith had been in a relationship for four years, the court heard.

During that time Chadwick and been controlling and violent towards her.

Mr Keith said: ‘We thought you were a nice bloke. Over the time you spent with our daughter the truth came out.

‘We are heartbroken and devastated that our daughter was taken from us in the way that she was.

‘We are all so lost without Sarah and are struggling without her being with us.

‘She was loved and will be missed by her daughter, family and friends.’

Jailing Chadwick, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: ‘The victim personal statement speaks of the loss Sarah’s family have suffered.

‘You have destroyed the lives of Sarah’s family and for them it is a life sentence.

‘They will never be able to forget what you did in taking the life of someone they loved and valued so much.’

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