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

Norwich man, Joe Storey. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norwich man, Joe Storey. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Joe Storey has been found guilty of the murder of his former partner Kerri McAuley.

Kerri McAuley. Photo: Norfolk Police

Kerri McAuley. Photo: Norfolk Police - Credit: Norfolk Police

The body of the mother-of-two, 32, was found at Southalls Way in Norwich on Sunday, January 8.

Norwich Crown Court heard she suffered 19 separate injuries to her face, including fractured eye sockets, cheek bones and jaw following a sustained attack.

MORE: Joe Storey says he did not intend to kill ex-partner Kerri McAuley during Norwich murder trial, but accepts he did not call for help

Her on-off partner Storey, 27, formerly of Murrells Court,Norwich, is on trial for her murder, which he has denied, although he has admitted manslaughter.

Today a jury of seven men and five women less than an hour to find Storey guilty of murder.

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There were gasps and a 'yes' from family and friends of Ms McAuley as the verdict was announced.

Joe Storey. Picture: Facebook

Joe Storey. Picture: Facebook - Credit: Archant

MORE: Severe blows to Kerri McAuley would be 'hardest punch you could deliver', pathologist tells murder trial

Storey, who wore a white T-shirt and appeared to show no emotion, will be sentenced tomorrow morning at 10.30am.

Judge Stephen Holt said the only sentence he could pass was a life sentence with the only question being 'how long' he would serve.

Judge Holt praised family and friends of Ms McAuley for their 'great courage' and 'great dignity' they had shown throughout the trial despite being faced with such 'horrendous' details in the case.

MORE: Joe Storey, the man accused of Kerri McAuley's murder, called friend in hysterical state to say she was 'hurt', court hears

The court had previously heard a series of text messages between Storey and Ms McAuley in the months leading up to her death have been read out to the jury.

The messages, part of a total of more than 21,000 messages and calls between them from August 2015 and January 2017, included conversations between the two on occasions after Ms McAuley was allegedly assaulted by Storey on previous occasions.

She refers to having had a 'broken face' and being 'broken inside'.

She states: 'You will always be a liar, a cheat and a woman beater'.

Other messages from Ms McAuley read out to the jury of seven men and five women include:

'I deserve far better than you, a dirty, lying cheat of a woman beater. You're a coward.'

She adds: 'You've broken my face. I could have another you in a heart-beat, one that doesn't break my bones.'

She said: 'There is only so many beatings a girl can take before they walk away.'

She said Storey had suffocated her while beating her for the second time in just a couple of months.

She said: 'What do you think is going through my head while you're suffocating me with your hands?'

Ms McAuley tells Storey she has 'put up with so much' and insisted there was 'only so much I can take' adding 'I feel broken inside'.

During the exchanges Storey insists he is 'so, so sorry' for occasions he had 'Just flipped' and 'lost it'.

He insists to Ms McAuley that he will sort himself out and 'prove you wrong'.

During one text exchange he said:

'I just flipped and lost it. I will never kill you, will I'.