Leeds man who murdered ex-girlfriend before jumping from bridge is jailed for life

Kileo Mbega
Kileo Mbega
Have your say

A teaching assistant who jumped off a bridge in Leeds after repeatedly striking  his ex-girlfriend with a claw hammer and strangling her with a vaccum cleaner cord has been jailed for life .

A Leeds Crown Court judge told 32-year-old Kileo Mbega he will serve at least 15-years-and-ten-months in prison for the "dreadful and savage" murder of 40-year-old social worker Sarah Henshaw of Armley.

Sarah Henshaw

Sarah Henshaw

The court heard father-of-two Mbega suffered from depression, which began after splitting with his ex-wife in 2016.

Prosecutor, Jonathan Sharp, said father-of-two Imbega had been in a relationship with Miss Henshaw from late 2017 but the relationship ended in late 2018 due to his "various infidelities."

Miss Henshaw and Mbega continued sharing a flat at Athlone Grove in Armley as Miss Henshaw felt sorry for Mbega, who worked as a teaching assistant but had little money and she believed he was a borderline alcoholic.

On February 11, Miss Henshaw told a friend that she had confronted Mbega about using her bank card without permission.

Kileo Mbega

Kileo Mbega

Miss Henshaw also found out on the same day that her application for a social worker's job in Slough had been successful.

Mr Sharp said that night Mbega, who had been drinking, attacked Miss Henshaw when she was in bed and was probably asleep.

Jailing Mbega for life, judge Rodney Jameson QC, said he had killed Miss Henshaw because he was not prepared to tolerate her "reasonable challenge" over his behaviour.

Judge Jameson said: "You struck her multiple times with a claw hammer, causing fractures to her skull, but she was unhappily still conscious when you cut cord from a vacuum cleaner and strangled her.

Kileo Mbega

Kileo Mbega

"This was a savage and dreadful attack. You attacked and killed her. You must have caused her terror and suffering before she died."

After the killing, Mbega, who admitted murder, wrote a suicide note and walked from Armley to Quarry Hill in Leeds where he jumped off a footbridge.

He survived but suffered multiple spinal and shoulder fractures and a head injury.

The court heard Miss Henshaw had done charity work at a home for street children in Tanzania, Africa, and went on to set up a charity for street and Masaai children where they were taught carpentry skills.

Her mother Janet wrote in a victim impact statement: "I know I will never recover from the darkness now my little ray of sunshine has gone, all that is left for me is memories and a broken heart."

Miss Henshaw's father David wrote: "My last words to her were, 'Is he likely to turn violent?' She replied, 'No Dad, he's not not like that, I will sort things out.'

"That was Sarah - she would never give up on someone. Two days later, she was dead."

Miss Henshaw's best friend Julia McKee wrote in a statement: "Violence against women is unforgivable and I will never be able to forgive Kileo Mbega."

Judge Jameson said: "There are times when one is truly humbled to realise just how much good one individual can do - not just in this country for those with whom she works, but also in other countries.

"She is a huge loss - not only to those who knew and loved her, but to the community."

Bryan Cox QC, mitigating, said: "He struggles to understand or explain why he did what he did."

Mr Cox added: "He lost control that day and I would submit his behaviour was wholly out of character.

"His mobility is severely limited and he continues to require pain medication daily."