‘Evil and dangerous’ killer jailed for at least 40 years
An “evil” and “extremely dangerous” killer, who stabbed a retired civil servant weeks before attacking a second woman, has been jailed for at least 40 years.
Kasim Lewis, 32, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years last May for the murder of 22-year-old Iuliana Tudos on Christmas Eve 2017.
Lewis’s DNA was later linked to the death of retired civil servant Catherine Burke, who was stabbed to death at home in Muswell Hill, north London, six weeks before.
On the day he was due to face trial, Lewis, who is originally from Montserrat, pleaded guilty to the murder of 55-year-old Ms Burke on November 16 2017.
Judge Richard Marks QC said Lewis was an “extremely dangerous individual” as he jailed him for life with a minimum term of 40 years.
He told Lewis he had committed “as grave a murder as one can imagine”.
He said: “You subjected your victim, a vulnerable middle-aged lady living alone, to an unimaginably dreadful ordeal.”
Judge Marks said there was a sexual element to the murder, committed while Lewis was on the sex offenders register.
Earlier, Ms Burke’s son Niall Galbally made an emotional statement in a courtroom packed with family members.
The 22-year-old student said: “There are simply no amount of words that can describe the sheer devastation this has caused me and my family.”
He said Lewis’s “wicked and senseless act” had caused an “untold amount of pain”.
He tole how his relationship with his mother had been “blossoming” as she finally accepted he had become a man.
But he said: “The actions of this evil being has robbed that from us and it’s something I will never get back.
“A massive hole resides in my heart for my mother and no amount of Justice will mend that.
“I take great comfort in the fact the man responsible for such brutality has been caught.”
As he left the witness box, Mr Galbally looked directly at Lewis in the dock.
Earlier, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC outlined the history of the “brutal” killings of two lone women.
He said Lewis only admitted killing Ms Burke at the 11th hour because of the “overwhelming” evidence against him, including his DNA on a ligature he used to bind her.
The court heard how divorced Ms Burke, who is originally from Galway in Ireland, had lived alone with her dog after her son left for university in Brighton.
Her friend Eileen Arnold was the last person to speak to her on the phone on November 15.
Ms Arnold raised the alarm the next day when she could not contact her friend and police kicked in her door.
Officers found Ms Burke’s naked body in a bed of her terraced house under a pile of clothes.
Wearing only a pair of odd socks, she had been bound and gagged with a pashmina scarf and stabbed in the neck, back and stomach.
The court heard Lewis got into the house by an unlocked back door and made off with a mobile phone which he gave to a friend.
Mr Aylett said Ms Burke’s killer was a “brutal and perverted sadist”, even though there was no signs she had been sexually assaulted.
Within hours of the murder, the convicted sex predator and burglar had trawled the internet for “granny sex” pornography.
The court heard he had pornographic images of women who had been bound and gagged.
On Christmas Eve, Lewis struck again when he attacked barmaid Ms Tudos as she made her way home through Finsbury Park, after a shift at the Worlds End pub in Camden.
As with Ms Burke, he stabbed Ms Tudos in the neck and abdomen, bound her wrists and ankles and stripped her naked, the court heard.
On Boxing Day, her concerned friends set out to retrace her journey and found her body in a disused cricket pavilion in the park.
Just over two hours after she entered the park, Ms Tudos’ bank card was used to withdraw £100 from a cash machine in Tottenham Court Road.
Police identified the suspect from CCTV footage as Lewis.
Meanwhile, the defendant tried to lay a false trail by texting a friend: “How’s everything today and have you watched the news….A woman’s body was found yesterday. What’s going on?”
When he was arrested for Ms Tudos’ murder on New Year’s Day, Lewis told an officer: “What do you want me to say? I did it.”
As well as DNA linking Lewis to Ms Burke’s murder, officers found he had stolen her mobile phone and given it to a friend.
The court heard the defendant had previous convictions of sexual assault, exposing himself on a bus and burglary dating back to 2005.
In mitigation, Jeremy Dean QC told of Lewis’s “dreadful” upbringing which led him on a path of crime to feed his cannabis and cocaine addiction.
Lewis’s 40-year sentence will run concurrently with his other life sentence.