Mother of Kerri McAuley speaks out as Norwich man Joe Storey is found guilty of her daughter’s murder

Kerri McAuley. Photo: Norfolk Police

Kerri McAuley. Photo: Norfolk Police

Norfolk Police

The mother of a woman brutally murdered by her former partner said her family will be “forever broken” by her death.

Lesley McAuley spoke out after Joe Storey was found guilty of her daughter Kerri’s murder at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday.

It took a jury less than an hour to return a guilty verdict against the 27-year-old, formerly of Murrells Court, Norwich.

Storey had denied murdering Ms McAuley, on January 8 this year, but admitted manslaughter.

MORE: Norwich man Joe Storey found guilty of murdering former partner Kerri McAuley

Speaking after the verdict, Ms McAuley’s mother said: “My life will never now be whole without Kerri to complete it, as a family we are forever broken. My heart bears the deepest break from which it will never heal.

“She had so much to live for, so much unfulfilled promise. I will forever remember Kerri for the woman that she was but I will always wonder about the woman she was to become.

“Any sentence that is passed will never be enough, the years simply don’t matter. It will never make up for what he has so brutally and cruelly taken from us.”

MORE: Joe Storey says he did not intend to kill ex-partner Kerri McAuley

She said Ms McAuley was a sociable, fun-loving woman with a “heart of gold” and a loyal friend.

“Above everything else, Kerri worshiped her children and lived for them,” her mother added.

“Everything she ever did was to give her sons a good and happy life and I take comfort from seeing them now, knowing how proud she would be of the young men that they are to become – a shining testament to the mother that she was to them.

“Though this comfort is bittersweet, it hurts me deeply to know that never again will Kerri and I watch together as they perform in school plays. She will never get to be proud of their successes nor be there to cuddle them when they are sad.”

MORE: Severe blows to Kerri McAuley would be “hardest punch you could deliver”, pathologist tells murder trial of Joe Storey

Det chief Insp Marie James, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Major investigation Team, said the case had “disturbed” even the most experienced detectives.

“This was a chilling, shockingly violent crime,” she said.

“Kerri was subjected to a sustained brutal attack in her own home and the extreme level of violence used has disturbed even the most experienced of detectives who have worked on the case.

“Storey has shown absolutely no remorse at any stage of the investigation and has prolonged the agony for Kerri’s family who have had to endure a trial and listen to evidence, some of which has been extremely distressing for them to hear.

“Any sentence given will never make up for the suffering that Kerri’s family and friends have and continue to endure and my thoughts will remain with them as they try to go through life without her.”

She added: “This case has shown how domestic abuse can quickly turn from violent and frightening to fatal. Norfolk Police will always take any report of domestic abuse seriously and we work closely with many other agencies and organisations to tackle it. I hope this outcome gives victims the courage and confidence to seek help at the earliest opportunity in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”

Storey has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, June 16 at 10am.

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