Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on May 2nd 2021, we have remembered 73 women, the last being 15-year-old schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood, from Measham, Leicestershire.
Today we remember Kelly Pearce, who Anthony Ayres murdered in November 2015. Ayres was known to be violent towards women.
In 1988 he strangled his girlfriend to the point that she passed out.
In 1989, he strangled another girlfriend – in 1993, he murdered Dawn Wisdom after telling him she had aborted their unborn baby.
And then he murdered again – Kelly Pearce, who lived in Canvey and who had a young son, Josh.
Anthony Ayres launched a ferocious hammer attack on Kelly Pearce, 36, before stabbing her in the face and neck 40 times. A jury of six men and six women unanimously returned the verdict after less than four hours of deliberations at Chelmsford Crown Court. Ayres, of Fairlop Avenue, Canvey, gave a wry smile as the verdict was readout. Miss Pearce’s friends and family gasped and shouted “yes” from the public gallery.
During sentencing, Justice Maura McGowan told Ayres she had no choice but to jail him for life. Addressing him, she said: “Less than three years after you were released from prison you killed Kelly Pearce. You took a knife and a hammer to the flat where you knew she was. You set about an attack of extraordinary brutality, which in my view amounted to sadism. The only sentence I can pass in accordance with the law is a whole life sentence”.
After the sentence, Kelly’s mum Lynn Wallings made a statement saying: said her life had been “shattered forever”. She said she now found it “difficult to smile, laugh or live with any sense of happiness”.
With regards to Ms Pearce’s son, she said: “I don’t know how Josh will ever come to terms with the death of his mum, and I know there will be a huge void in his life. Instead of being with her laughing and asking for her guidance, he will now only have memories”.
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph