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Rapist jailed over pensioner murder
A rapist who murdered a pensioner has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum 28 years behind bars.
Darren Jackson, 26, repeatedly raped his frail victim in a horrific attack in which she suffered 20 separate fractures to her ribs. Widow Irene Lawless, 67, was asleep in bed at her bungalow in a remote Mid Wales village when neighbour Jackson broke in through a window.
The first she knew of the ordeal she was to suffer was when Jackson forced himself upon her in January this year. Jackson brutally raped the widow in her own home in Llanllwni, Carmarthenshire, and then strangled her.
He had spent weeks researching his perverted attack, viewing internet sites with names like "Fat Granny's Shower Interrupted".
High Court judge Mr Justice Royce jailed him at Swansea Crown Court for what he described as "evil depravity".
Jackson had been out drinking in a neighbouring village earlier in the evening before the murder. His mother and stepfather had been with him to begin with but he carried on alone until the early hours when they went home.
After the depraved attack and murder, Jackson stole Mrs Lawless's handbag and Audi A3 car and fled to Deal in Kent, where he used to live. The pensioner's naked body was discovered the next day by concerned neighbours and Jackson was arrested in Kent within five hours.
He had made his way across the country in the stolen car the day before leaving a CCTV trail behind him and DNA and fingerprints at the murder scene. After arriving in Deal, he visited the town's British Heart Foundation shop where he had once been ordered to do community service.
Passing sentence, the judge told him: "The heartless violence that you meted out to a defenceless grandmother was for your own perverted pleasure and gratification."
He said the 28-year term that he ordered him to serve was a minimum before he could be eligible for parole.