Wed, 13 Mar 2019
A MAN who strangled and stabbed his girlfriend has today been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of her murder.
Mark Sinclair admitted killing 28-year-old Kylie Dembrey, his partner of 12 years, at their home in Blossom Lane, Theale, on September 6, last year.
However, he denied murdering her. Instead, his defence argued manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
But jurors took just three hours to unanimously convict him of murder at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday following a two-week trial.
And yesterday he was sentenced to life behind bars with a minimum term of 21 years.
During the attack, Sinclair strangled mother-of-two Miss Dembrey and inflicted fatal stab wounds to her heart and neck.
Miss Dembrey's family said in a statement that her loss was irreplaceable.
Her sister Rebecca said: “I had hoped one day she would realise she was worth so much more. She was bright and bubbly; full of sass...when she entered a room, everyone knew about it."
The statement added that Miss Dembrey was optimistic about the future and had enrolled on a course to help treat people with mental health issues.
In sentencing Sinclair to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 21 years before he can apply for parole, His Honour Judge Paul Dugdale said: “it is not inappropriate to describe Mark Sinclair, in his behaviour towards Kylie, as a jealous, controlling and violent man.”
He said that, after strangling her unconscious, Sinclair went and got a knife.
Judge Dugdale added: “While he did this he must have known that Kylie was unconscious. Having picked up the knife Mark Sinclair stabbed Kylie twice to the neck in rapid succession.
"The first stab wound was peripheral; the second penetrated her neck and cut her jugular vein. He stabbed her to the chest, the knife passing through her ribs, right through her heart and into her diaphragm. Both stab wounds were fatal.”
An aggravating feature was the fact that, following the strangulation, Sinclair had the opportunity to stop - “he chose not to,” said the judge.
He concluded: “You took the life of a woman from a family who loved her; you took the life of the woman who loved you; you took the life of the woman you loved...take him down.”
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Senior Crown Prosecutor Emma Currie said: “Mark Sinclair admitted to a 999 police call taker that he had killed his partner, but insisted it was manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
“The CPS worked closely with Thames Valley Police to build a strong prosecution case which proved Mark Sinclair deliberately killed his partner in anger following a long-standing volatile relationship.
“This is a tragic case which has left two innocent children without their mother, and our thoughts remain with Kylie Dembrey’s family at this time.”
Miss Dembrey's family said: "We continue to grieve the loss of Kylie who was taken from us on the 6th of September 2018.
“Kylie, whilst petite had a big personality. She made an impression on everyone she met.
“Kylie was the only person who constantly loved and supported her partner no matter how badly he treated her. She felt bonded to him by the children they had together.
“He repaid this kindness by killing her. Our message is this, to anyone who finds themselves in a domestically abusive situation, please, seek help.
“Our friends and family will miss her smile, her laugh, her presence. We will treasure the memories we have of her. Our world will be a quieter, sadder place without her.
“We are grateful that justice has been served.”