A 48-year-old man has been told he must spend the rest of his life in jail for the murder of a 15-year-old girl in Lewisham, South London, last September.
Joseph John McGrady appeared at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday 16 May 2006 for sentence after pleading guilty on 12 April to murdering schoolgirl Rochelle Holness at his Catford home some time between 25 and 28 September 2005.
It follows an investigation by the MPS Specialist Crimes Directorate based at Sutton, led by DI Tim Grattan-Kane.
Rochelle left her home, near Milford Towers, Catford, just after 7pm on Sunday 25 September. She told her mother she was going to a nearby phone box to ring her friend. CCTV footage from around the phone box shows her walking away from there at 8.03pm. At that point she was alone. No witnesses have come forward with any further sightings of Rochelle.
LAS called local officers to a flat at Milford Towers on Wednesday 28 September after a woman alerted emergency services at 11.10 that day to a man who had attempted suicide. After visiting the flat and questioning the woman, police discovered Rochelle's body concealed behind a rubbish chute. She had been dismembered and the body parts put into five black plastic sacks.
A post mortem at Greenwich Mortuary concluded that she had died from strangling.
McGrady and the 48-year-old woman were both arrested. The woman was later released. McGrady was charged on 30 September with murder.
The court heard that McGrady probably killed Rochelle on the evening of Sunday 25 September 2005. The following day he went to a nearby store to buy hacksaw blades.
The court also heard that McGrady had a record for violent assault on women. In 1984, he was tried on three rape charges but acquitted. Four years later he was sent to prison for six years for two rape charges. In 1993, he was again imprisoned for abduction and unlawful imprisonment of a woman in Woolwich.
He was released in 1997 since when there have been no allegations of further crime made to police.
Detective Inspector Tim Grattan-Kane of the Specialist Crime Directorate, said:
"McGrady has not been brought to our attention since his release in 1997 but what ever systems may have been in place, he is so evil I do not think anything could have prevented him doing what he did.
"Since his last spell in prison, he has used different permutations of his family names to disguise his identity. He has worked as an odd-job man and as a butcher for a time but latterly heavy drinking marked his life and he did not stray far from his flat.
"Although he pleaded guilty as the trial date approached, McGrady has never told us what happened, especially how Rochelle came to go to his flat. I have promised Rochelle's parents that I will keep on trying to get that information but I have no doubt that he used violence or the threat of violence. Rochelle was not a girl who would go willingly with anyone she mistrusted. She was an independent young woman and a fighter.
"The violent circumstances of their child's death have turned the lives of Rochelle's parents upside down. They can never be the same again. I am relieved that McGrady will never come out of prison to inflict his evil desires on anyone again."