Anthony Porter, 33, killed Andraya Lyons, 38, after a quarrel at her work Christmas party. When the party was over, he followed her home, and there he tortured her and burned her alive.
Friends at her work Christmas party had warned Andraya not to go back home with Porter following the row because of how arrogant and selfish he had been to her all through their relationship. He was especially aggressive when she told him it was over between them, to the extent that he had to be pulled off her. But she chose to stay back at her home after she left the party, which held at a Marriott Hotel in Swindon, Wiltshire. Porter followed her home after texting his sister.
“Some of us are angels, some of us are demons, and tonight the demons won,” he wrote to his sister.
Once at Andraya’s home, Porter forced his way in and hit her over the head with an iron, stamped on her face and poured thick paint down her throat. He then proceeded to place gas canisters between her thighs and doused her with white spirit before setting her on fire while she was still alive. Neighbours later called firefighters when they smelled smoke. On arrival, Andraya’s charred body was discovered on the living room floor at around 5:30 a.m. on December 10 last year. They also found blood on the iron, porch, kitchen walls, and in the living room, and Porter’s footprint in the grey paint he had poured on his girlfriend.
It was discovered that after the violent attack, Porter made a hasty attempt to cover up his crime. When police arrived the house, they found that the batteries had been removed from the upstairs smoke alarm and attempts were made to cover the bloodstains with white paint and a roller. Porter left the murder scene at around 5 a.m. then confessed his crime to family members, telling his sister he “lost control and kept hitting her to her death”. He later visited his mother’s grave before handing himself over to police. Yesterday, he admitted murdering Ms Lyons, a mother of two sons, aged five and eight. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 17-and-a-half years.
Prosecuting, Colin Meeke, explained to the court what had transpired that fateful night and said that Andraya was supposed to go with her friends that night to avoid getting hurt by Porter but she had changed her mind and decided to stay home.
“Things got so bad that her friends arranged she would go home with them instead of going to her home address. As the taxi drove off he punched the taxi window and was overheard saying he would break into the house and torch it. The taxi took her to her home address so she could collect some personal belongings. She decided she would stay at the house and said he wouldn’t be a problem, it was alright.”
But 40 minutes later, at around 2 am, Porter arrived at the house and launched a drink and drug-fuelled ‘frenzied’ attack on her. For over three hours, neighbours said they heard five to six minutes of high-pitched screaming, a female voice shouting “let me out” and a “thudding sound about 15 times”.
A forensic examination of her body later concluded she suffered 45 separate injuries, including bruises and a cut to her cheek. She had burns on her breasts, stomach and legs and the “thick, granular” paint in her throat. The cause of death was blunt force injury, paint inhalation and smoke inhalation.
At the sentencing, Judge Peter Blair QC told Porter he would be subject to the sentence “for the rest of your life” for the “dreadful” murder.
“She was entitled to feel safe and secure from you in her home but you broke in and you set about attacking her in a vicious way, using an iron and kicking and punching her. The assault started on the porch and went into the living room. It is clear this is a sustained assault. She was screaming for you to get out. It is clear you inflicted suffering on her, both mentally and physically.