A 52-year-old Northampton man has been given a life sentence in prison, with a minimum term of 30 years, after he was found guilty of murdering India Chipchase.
Edward Tenniswood, of Stanley Road, Northampton, was unanimously convicted of the murder and rape of Miss Chipchase, aged 20, after a 10-day trial.
His Honour Judge John Saunders, sentencing, said it was a crime of ‘utter depravity’ and no sentence he could pass could compensate India’s family for their loss.
Judge Saunders said: “I have heard moving statements made by both India’s mother and father in which they tried to describe in words the extent and depth of their grief at the loss of a much loved daughter.
“To lose a child at any time and for any reason is a tragedy but to lose a daughter in the way that India’s parents did is unimaginable. The loss is not only felt by them but by all the family.
“It is right that the court and the public should hear of the consequences of this defendant’s actions and the devastation that it has caused to other people’s lives but it must be remembered that no sentence I pass can or is intended to compensate for that loss.
“This was a terrible crime. It was committed because the defendant was determined to satisfy his own sexual desires on an attractive and much younger woman. It was a crime of utter depravity.”
Judge Saunders said Tenniswood picked out Miss Chipchase because she was “obviously so drunk she was unable to care for herself.”
He said: “She was vulnerable and he took advantage of her vulnerability. He didn’t take her home in a taxi as he told her he would. Instead he took her to his house and there he raped and killed her. No-one can say exactly what preceded the rape and the murder but I am satisfied that India remained extremely affected by the alcohol she had consumed when the crimes were committed.”
Judge Saunders said he was satisfied that Tenniswood intended to kill Miss Chipchase by strangling her.
He said the nature of Tenniswood’s defence had “no doubt added to the anguish” of Miss Chipchase’s family but said he “did not add to the sentence” for that.
However, he said Tenniswood got “no credit” due to his lack of remorse.
Judge Saunders said there was no evidence of any mental illness that might lessen his responsibility for the “awful crime.”
He said the only mitigation was that he is aged 52 and will therefore be in prison while most other people are in retirement and the fact he has no previous convictions.
He said: “It seems to me that what limited aggravating and mitigating features there are cancel each other out.”
Tenniswood was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years. The sentence on the rape charge was 12 years, to be served concurrently.