Life term for drifter William Cummins who battered Jackie Harrison to death

Worcester News: MURDERER: William Cummins MURDERER: William Cummins

A 52-YEAR-OLD drifter has been jailed for life for the murder of a woman in her Worcester flat.

William Cummins was yesterday found guilty by a jury of seven men and five women at Worcester Crown Court and will serve a minimum of 17 years.

The jury delivered its unanimous verdict two-and-a-half hours after being sent out at the end of a month-long trial.

The jury decided he battered the 48-year-old and was in the flat with her while she took up to two hours to die from her injuries.

He then stayed in the flat with her body for up to two days before going on the run.

Cummins was not in court to hear sentence passed. Judge Robert Juckes ordered him to be taken down to the cells after a series of outbursts.

He seemed shocked and looked around the court in disbelief after the verdict.

Cummins said that not all the evidence had been heard and when the judge said he would be taken down if he could not keep quiet he said: “I’m going down for something I did not do anyway.”

As he went to the cells, he shouted “bunch of idiots” at the court.

The judge apologised to the jury for the abuse and said they had reached a “perfectly proper” verdict.

He said Cummins had given Mrs Harrison a “savage beating”. Most of her ribs were broken, her jawbone was separated and she had broken bones in her eye.

“She must have been alive and suffering and he did nothing,” the judge said, adding that it was possible she could have survived if she had reached hospital.

Her rapid decline to death might have taken him by surprise, the judge said, and he may not have realised the full extent of her injuries because he was drunk.

But the beating was so savage the injuries were described in court as the equivalent of a high speed traffic accident.

After her death, he stayed in the flat, uncertain what to do until the neighbours returned two days later.

Cummins, who told the court he had been on a Marine training course in the Territorial Army and had been trained to kill with his bare hands, left Worcester on March 28 and went to Birmingham before heading south to disappear in the vagrant life he was used to.

The judge said the court had heard a lot about his life story but it probably could not all be believed.

Richard Bensdon QC, defending, said Cummins had not used a weapon in the attack and it had not been premeditated. He had not intended to kill his victim, he added.

Peter Grice, prosecuting, said Cummins had a number of convictions for assault and other violent offences.

A father-of-three, he had been working as a roofer until an injury to his leg 20 years ago caused him to give up his job and split up with his wife.

Comments (5)

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11:43am Fri 14 Dec 12

Respectable says...

Well who's the "Idiot" serving a life sentence...??
Look in the mirror scumbag..
Well who's the "Idiot" serving a life sentence...?? Look in the mirror scumbag.. Respectable
  • Score: 1

4:11pm Fri 14 Dec 12

yamoto says...

maybe he is right, he is going to prison, 3 meals a day, leisure activities, health care, etc.
maybe he is right, he is going to prison, 3 meals a day, leisure activities, health care, etc. yamoto
  • Score: 1

4:56pm Fri 14 Dec 12

mayall8808 says...

Yamoto,, your right! he will have a better Christmas than some hard working families and some folks who have a dim future to look forward to with no job etc.
Yamoto,, your right! he will have a better Christmas than some hard working families and some folks who have a dim future to look forward to with no job etc. mayall8808
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Mon 17 Dec 12

ak47/blade says...

Justice has finally been served. RIP Jackie I know u are sadly missed by many. x
Justice has finally been served. RIP Jackie I know u are sadly missed by many. x ak47/blade
  • Score: 0

11:58am Tue 18 Dec 12

iamthebinman says...

A dim future? Yes, during his first of six thousand days of prison, locked up in a cell, Mr Cummins must be looking forward to having a better Christmas than a hard working family who may be out of work.
A dim future? Yes, during his first of six thousand days of prison, locked up in a cell, Mr Cummins must be looking forward to having a better Christmas than a hard working family who may be out of work. iamthebinman
  • Score: 0

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