A man who choked and stabbed a Nottingham teacher and author to death in her own home has been jailed for life.
Author Julie Semper, 47, was found dead at her home in Magdala Road, on February 4 this year by a work colleague.
James McCarthy, 25, formerly of Collyer Road, Calverton, pleaded guilty to the crime at a previous hearing in June and was today (Monday, October 12) sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court to life in prison with a recommendation that he should serve a minimum of 21 years for her murder.
He will serve another eight years for the attempted murder of a fellow prisoner at Nottingham Prison in June.
With a reduction of one year to the aggregate sentence being granted by the judge, McCarthy must serve a total of 28 years before being considered eligible for parole.
Julie’s body was discovered after a colleague went to her home to check on her after she failed to turn up for work at Bilborough College, where she was a teacher.
Police attended and discovered a bloodied bread knife at the scene.
McCarthy had visited Julie on the evening of January 30, 2015. They had not seen each other for around six months after ending a casual relationship.
They drank together and became reacquainted but they got into an argument, and when Julie told him she couldn’t trust him, he hit her in the face. He went on to choke her before stabbing her multiple times.
McCarthy stayed in Julie’s flat for a number of hours before contacting someone on Facebook to ask for a lift home. He took Julie’s purse and keys, then left the flat, locked the door and was picked up at about 6pm.
After Julie’s body was found, police carried out a search of McCarthy’s home where they found the keys, which had blood on them, and an alarm fob for Julie’s car.
McCarthy was arrested and in interview told police that after hitting Julie he panicked that she would report him to police and he would go to jail, so he carried out the frenzied attack.
While on remand for the murder, McCarthy attacked another offender at Nottingham Prison on June 2 and was subsequently charged with attempted murder.
He entered the cell of his 43-year-old victim and strangled and stamped on him, leaving the man in a coma for several weeks.
McCarthy pleaded guilty to that offence today and received a sentence of eight years to run consecutively to his sentencing for killing Julie Semper.
Following sentencing, Detective Superintendent Simon Firth, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “James McCarthy is an extremely dangerous and, frankly, evil individual who mercilessly killed a defenceless woman who had been both a friend and a partner to him.
“Julie’s death has left her family, in her particular her young daughter, devastated and utterly bereft. McCarthy will, thankfully, spend a very long time in prison.”