A man has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for the murder of 32-year-old Kayleigh Dunning from Portsmouth


Kayleigh, who has been described as ‘kind and thoughtful’ by her family, was reported missing to police on Tuesday 17 December 2019, before her body was discovered at Brandford’s flat on Kingston Crescent later that night.

Following an investigation by Hampshire Constabulary, 49-year-old Mark Brandford was arrested and later charged with Kayleigh’s murder.

He was also charged with disclosing private sexual films without the consent of Kayleigh Dunning, an individual who appeared in the films, with the intent of causing her distress between October 22 2018 and December 17 2019.

Brandford denied both charges against him and the case proceeded to trial at Portsmouth Crown Court on Wednesday 6 January this year.

On Friday 19 February, the jury unanimously convicted Brandford of disclosing private sexual films without the consent of Kayleigh with the intent of causing her distress, and on Monday 22 February unanimously convicted him of her murder.

Sentencing Brandford, Mr Justice William Mousley QC remarked on the jealousy, coercion and control exhibited by him in the course of undermining Kayleigh’s relationships with friends, family and work colleagues.

Mr Justice Mousley commended the work of the Hampshire Constabulary investigation team involved in the case and the thoroughness of the investigation.

Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Adam Edwards, Senior Investigating Officer for the case, said: “This was a shocking attack on a defenceless young woman which tragically resulted in her death.

“I am pleased with the jury’s verdict and pleased that Brandford will now spend a considerable length of time in prison for what he has done.

“Kayleigh has been described by those that knew her as an outgoing, chatty and passionate young woman. Our thoughts remain with her friends, family and all those that knew her today.”