The murderer in the Salcombe “headless woman” case has been sentenced to life imprisionment with a minimum term of 34 years less the 475 days she has spent in custody.
The sentencing made history as the first to be televised.
Judge Richard Marks KC said she had shown “absolutely no remorse”, and was in “complete denial” in the face of “overwealming evidence .’
Jemma Mitchell murdered her friend Mee Kuen Chong in London around June 11 last year and transported her in a blue suitcase using a hire care to Devon.
She gave no evidence but the motive was thought to be that Mee Kuen Chong changed her mind about giving Mitchell money to repair her house.
Mitchell dumped her headless body in woods near Salcombe. Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood from the Metropolitan Police who led the investigation said: “The motivation for Jemma Mitchell’s actions was money and she showed a significant degree of planning and calculation as she attempted to cover up her horrific actions. “
“Why she chose Salcombe in Devon, we may never know. “However, what is clear is that Mitchell – seeing her chance to obtain the funds she so desperately desired disappear – decided to attack and murder a vulnerable lady for her own gain in a truly despicable crime.”
Devon and Cornwall Police have been in regular contact with the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Division since Mee Kuen Chong was discovered dead in woodland in the Salcombe area in June 2021. Detective Superintendent Mike West, the Head of Devon & Cornwall Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “The tragic discovery of Ms Chong’s body in Salcombe led to a significant deployment of specialist officers and staff from across our Force and regional area. Their painstaking work over many weeks, delivered by our Detectives, Forensic professionals and Intelligence Directorate established the true circumstances of a murder motivated by greed, and identified both the killer and where the offence took place.
Mitchell was found guilty yesterday.