‘Sadistic predator’ jailed for life for London stabbing

A "sadistic predator" has been jailed for life for stabbing a City worker in the head and leaving her for dead just yards from her London home.

Business analyst Qing Qing Rao, 30, had been married for less than six months when Barry Peacham attacked her as she walked home from work.

The weapons-obsessed Peacham, 26, plunged a knife into her head and then mutilated her before stealing her handbag, mobile phone and laptop computer.

Barry Peacham

Ms Rao, who is just 5ft 3in, was found lying unconscious by a path in Castle Green Park in Dagenham, east London, having suffered "catastrophic" injuries.

Since the attack on February 13, she has been in a persistent vegetative state and is considered "extremely unlikely" ever to recover consciousness.

Peacham was found guilty of wounding with intent and robbery following a trial at the Old Bailey, but cleared of attempted murder.

Judge Anne Molyneux handed him a life sentence with a minimum term of nine years given the seriousness of the offence.

She also handed him 12 years for robbery which will run concurrently.

She said: "This was a brutal, sadistic and cowardly attack on a lone female making her way home from work.

"You were a predator and showed her no mercy.

"The violence you used went way beyond that necessary for a robbery."

She added that the "gratuitous" sexual and sadistic violence he subjected his vulnerable victim to was particularly grave.

Following his conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes, of Scotland Yard, had said: "To me this is a crime of pure evil.

"On that night he has effectively ended the life of a 30-year-old lady, who was on her way home from work, in the most brutal and vicious manner, stabbing her in the head, penetrating her brain.

"Peacham is one of the most dangerous men I have ever dealt with in my police career, which spans over 28 years."

Qing Qing Rao

Ms Rao's husband, Ansgar Wenzel described her as a "wonderful, warm-hearted and happy girl, always friendly and happy to help anyone who needed her help".

He said: "I would not miss a single day of the almost 10 years we have shared; I will always remember how she smiled and turned her head laughing on the morning of 13th February when she left for work; the goodbye kiss is one I will always cherish."

The court heard that Ms Rao, who worked in Finsbury Square in the City, was still wearing her Apple earphones when she was found gravely injured just minutes from home.

Jurors were told that gardener Peacham had previous convictions dating back to 2008, when he was found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon in public.

He also had convictions for attacking his girlfriend in 2012 and robbery.


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