Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on 2nd May 2021, I have remembered 87 women – the last being Katrina O’Hara, from Blandford, Dorset.
Today we remember Amy Griffiths, a trans woman. She was murdered between January 11th and 14th 2019.
A man has been jailed for life for beating, strangling and stabbing his friend to death after they met on a dating website. Martin Saberi had previously admitted murdering Amy Griffiths in her flat in Droitwich, Worcestershire.
The 55-year-old of Brackley Close, Wallington, Surrey, also admitted a non-fatal stabbing of another woman three days earlier. At the time, he was on licence after serving 16 years for armed robbery. At Worcester Crown Court on Thursday, Saberi was told he would serve a minimum of 24 years and 10 months in prison for the murder. The court heard that he had used a baseball bat to attack Ms Griffiths during her ordeal.
The court was told Saberi had travelled to Ms Griffiths’s home from London after stabbing a 59-year-old woman in the neck outside a shop in Wallington in January 2019, leaving her needing 30 stitches.
Prosecutor Rachel Brand QC said Saberi had met Ms Griffiths in person only once before, in June 2018, but they had exchanged messages over several months which appeared to show an affectionate relationship.
On arriving in Droitwich, Saberi bought alcohol, took a taxi to Ms Griffiths’s housing association flat, and, the court heard, the pair drank over the course of a weekend. Ms Griffiths’s last known phone call was to a taxi firm so her visitor could take a train back to London, but neighbours heard banging noises during the night.
The prosecution said the morning following his attack, Saberi stole a laptop and an Xbox from the flat before returning to the English capital.
Hours later he went to Stoke Newington police station, confessed to killing Ms Griffiths and was taken into custody. Saberi appeared for his sentencing by video link. He was said in court to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and was receiving treatment at high-security Broadmoor Hospital.
Judge James Burbidge QC told the court Saberi’s first victim was fortunate not to have died and said Ms Griffiths had been subjected to “extreme” violence.
He added that the killer’s position was aggravated by previous convictions, including an indecent assault of a woman in 1993 and robbing a jeweller at gunpoint. He was given a life sentence in 2000.
The judge said he accepted Saberi’s mental illness was a factor in the attack on Ms Griffiths, and the minimum term he must serve for her murder meant he would be nearly 80 at its expiry.
Det Ch Insp Carl Moore, of West Mercia Police, said: “Amy was a much-loved, much-respected person who so many people have spoken warmly of, and I know she is deeply missed by those whose lives she touched.”