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Darren Hall Sentenced to Life for Murder of Ex-Partner Sarah Henshaw in Derbyshire

In a case that has shocked and saddened the community of Derbyshire, 36-year-old Darren Hall has been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 17 years, for the murder of his ex-partner, Sarah Henshaw, 31. The sentence was handed down at Derby Crown Court after a two-week trial that ended with Hall’s conviction last Friday.

The court heard that on June 20, during an argument at Henshaw’s home in Ilkeston, Hall attacked and killed her. Six days later, her body was found dumped in woodland near a motorway layby outside Chesterfield, Derbyshire, approximately 20 miles from her home. Evidence presented at the trial suggested that Hall had “almost certainly strangled” Henshaw to death, possibly using a dressing gown cord.

Darren Hall sentenced to life for murder of ex-partner Sarah Henshaw in derbyshire

Mr Justice Goss, presiding over the case, described Sarah Henshaw as a “loud, outgoing, and fun-loving person with an infectious laugh,” acknowledging that no court sentence could ever undo the harm and suffering caused by Hall’s actions.

The prosecution, led by Michelle Heeley KC, detailed how Hall and Henshaw, who had met in 2011 and had a “volatile” relationship, had already split up by the time of her death. On the day of the murder, Hall entered Henshaw’s house, which he still had a key to, and refused to leave when she returned and asked him to. Later, a loud bang was heard from the property, marking the beginning of the tragic events.

In a calculated move to cover up his crime, Hall used Henshaw’s phone posthumously to text her friends, making it appear she was still alive, and disposed of her belongings, including her phone, dressing gown, and slippers.

Hall admitted to dumping Henshaw’s body but claimed it was an accident following a fall down the stairs during their argument. However, this claim was contradicted by Derbyshire police, who found no forensic evidence of a fall and noted that Henshaw had no injuries consistent with such an accident. Mr Justice Goss expressed his belief that Hall had been violent towards Henshaw in the past and showed no genuine remorse for killing her.

During the sentencing, Hall appeared via video link from HMP Nottingham, visibly trembling. The court also heard emotional statements from Henshaw’s family, painting a picture of her as a caring, bubbly, and mischievous individual. Her sister, Kelsie Henshaw, labeled Hall a “cruel, selfish man,” while her mother, Lorraine Henshaw, called him a “monster” who treated her daughter’s body like “a piece of rubbish.”

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