Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on the 2nd of May 2021, I have remembered 108 women, the last being Rose and Julie Hill.
Today I remember Lucy Ayris – the Evening Standard reported:
A man who murdered his girlfriend by stabbing her through the neck as she slept has been jailed for life. Billy White, 23, was drunk and high on cannabis and cocaine when he knifed Lucy Ayris at the home they shared in Pinkwell Lane, Hayes. The couple, who had been in a “volatile” 18-month long relationship, had enjoyed an evening socialising with friends and having sex before White carried out the brutal murder. He broke down in tears when arrested and sobbed “I’m sorry”, but told detectives later he could not say why he had murdered his girlfriend as it made him feel “physically sick”.
White, who has a history of mental health problems, pleaded guilty to murder in May last year but then changed his mind before he could be sentenced. He was allowed to vacate his plea but then pleaded guilty to murder again at an Old Bailey hearing. The court heard he suffers from mental illness and has a personality disorder, but doctors who assessed him agreed he was not suffering a psychotic episode at the time he stabbed Ms Ayris.
Judge Gerald Gordon sentenced him to life in prison today, and ordered that he serve at least 15 years behind bars saying “You are a very dangerous young man and in my view, that’s particularly so after you’ve been drinking and taking drugs That danger may continue to be the position, and even after extensive treatment it could be decades before you are considered safe.”
White tried to claim he had been told to kill his girlfriend after hearing voices in his head. But the court heard he did not mention this until he had been remanded in custody. In an interview, all he said about the relevant period was he and Lucy had sex then smoked a cigarette, she had gone to bed to sleep while he had gone into the living room. He wouldn’t say what had happened after that, he couldn’t say because he felt physically sick.
After murdering 25-year-old Lucy, White used her phone just before 5 am to call his mother and confess to the killing. His mother came to the flat and called 999, but when paramedics arrived it was clear Ms Ayris was already dead. Mr McGuinness said police had been called out four times to the flat after rows between the couple in 2014, but on each occasion, no action had been taken against White. White admitted drinking and taking drugs on the night of the murder and had been treated for a personality disorder, psychosis, and ADHD in the past.
In a statement, Lucy’s family said they had “been to hell and back” in the past 12 months. It said: “Billy White pleading guilty to Lucy’s murder does not change anything. All it does is stop us from going through a big trial. Nothing will bring my daughter back. “Billy White needs to be locked up forever so he can never destroy another family like he has done to ours. We also have a life sentence as Billy White murdering Lucy is something we will have to live with every day of our lives. How we do this I simply do not know, knowing Billy White has taken something so special, a mummy, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin.”