Danny Williams given minimum 24 years in prison for murder of Farnaz Ali
PUBLISHED: 12:51 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:45 21 September 2018
A man who murdered a neighbour in his Norwich flat after she complained about loud music has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 24 years.
Danny Williams, 27, of Godric Place, murdered his neighbour Farnaz Ali, 49, in July, last year, and she was found with 59 injuries after being attacked with a hammer.
The defendant had denied murder but a jury of seven women and five men took a little over three hours to find him guilty and he appeared for sentence at Norwich Crown Court.
Sentencing him, Judge Stephen Holt described the attack as a brutal and sustained and said: “You used a weapon, a hammer, to inflict at least 36 blows to her head.”
He said having inflicted injuries with a hammer he said Williams went on to strangle her and stuff tissue paper down her throat to obstruct her airways with the clear intention of killing her.
He said she was a defenceless victim and felt there was sexual conduct in the case because of a bite mark to the right nipple of the victim.
He paid tribute to Farnaz’s sister who attended court every day and who he said acted with enormous courage throughout what must have been a terrible ordeal.
In a victim impact statement read out at the sentencing hearing by prosecutor Andrew Thompson, Ms Ali’s sister, Mahnaz Ali who is a GP, said the whole thing had been a horrific experience and said the injuries inflicted on her sister were so severe she could not at first even recognise the body.
Dr Ali said: “Farnaz was a quiet, gentle and thoughtful person who suffered a prolonged attack and died alone in the bathroom of a stranger’s house. This knowledge will stay with me forever.”
She said that Ms Ali’s elderly parents were both too frail to attend court and said since the death of her daughter, her mother seemed depressed and appeared to have given up on life.
Dr Ali said her parents and Oliver Howlett, the partner of Farnaz, were “paralysed with grief” and when she was asked to identify the body of her sister, Dr Ali said she did not at first recognise her because the injuries were so severe.
Dr Ali said that she also had to take time out of her career to look after her parents and said she did not think they would ever recover from the loss of their daughter.
She said she had sheltered them from the details of the case as they would find it too upsetting.
During the trial the court heard that Ms Ali’s body was found in Williams’ flat in Godric Place the day after she was reported missing by her partner Oliver Howlett.
Mr Thompson, prosecuting, said the circumstances that led to the killing were “unclear” although it was apparent the victim had been concerned about loud music coming from the defendant’s flat.
He said Ms Ali went for a walk on July 28, at about 7pm, and was never to return home again.
Mr Thompson said it was believed she was killed at some point on the Friday evening.
He said she had been “left dead or dying” on the floor of the defendant’s bathroom as he left the address to visit friends in Lowestoft, who he would later tell about the murder, prompting one of the calls to police.
Mr Thompson said there was evidence that Williams had struck the victim repeatedly to the head with a hammer and there was also evidence there had been compression of her neck as well as signs of assault on her body.
On Saturday, July 29, police got a 999 call from the defendant’s father to say there was a woman seriously injured or dead on the bathroom floor of Williams’ flat.
Police in Suffolk also got a call from a friend of Williams about the incident.
Williams was later arrested and charged with murder.
Williams , who is said to have drunk 24 bottles of beer as well as cider on the day of the killing in addition to cocaine , had suffered brain damage as a child and had learning difficulties.
The defendant chose not to give evidence himself during the trial.