Burglar, 26, who raped and murdered 'fragile' pensioner, 72, in her own home jailed for life

A 26-year-old drug user has been found jailed for life for raping and murdering a pensioner after breaking into her home and smothering her.

Craig Keogh suffocated 72-year-old Jane Hings using a pillow after an “utterly terrifying” sexual assault before removing her wedding and engagement rings and a crucifix from her body.

Keogh, of no fixed address, had claimed his victim was alive when he left her bungalow in Fleckney, near Leicester, in the early hours of September 24 last year.

But jurors at Birmingham Crown Court took around four hours to unanimously convict Keogh, 26, of murder, burglary and two counts of rape and on Tuesday he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 32 years.

Drug user – Craig Keogh, 26, raped and murdered 72-year-old Jane Hings at her home (Picture: SWNS)

Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told Keogh he had shown no remorse and acted in a “callous” way after the killing.

The judge told the 26-year-old former factory worker, who was described as “bubbly” in the days after the killing: “The reason why you decided to kill Jane Hings was to prevent her from being able to identify you as the person responsible for having burgled her home and raped her.

 

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“Bearing in mind what you had done, your conduct the next day (in selling the victim’s jewellery and buying drinks for friends) was callous in the extreme.”

Keogh, who knew Mrs Hings after previously offering to walk her dog, refused to give evidence at his trial, claiming in police interviews that he had consensual sex with the pensioner.

 

Frail – Jane Hings knew Keogh after he previously offered to walk her dog (Picture: SWNS)

Jurors heard that Keogh appeared to be “off his face” on cocaine in the hours before the murder, and was seen to kick a wing mirror off a car.

He also threatened two pub workers, telling them: “I’m from Fleckney. I’ve seen someone get shanked. I’ve got a piece.”

In her closing speech to the jury, prosecutor Mary Prior QC said Keogh, who left his cap at the scene, had “deliberately silenced” his victim.

She said: “How could you be bubbly and happy in such circumstances? That money – that he took during the course of that burglary – was used on showing off, meals out, drinks for friends – flashing the cash.

“We say it’s very, very clear that he snuck in there and took her things. He took the privacy of her body, and then he took her life quite deliberately.”

(Top pictures: PA/SWNS)