Killer rapist jailed for life in oldest double jeopardy case

Dennis McGrory was convicted of murder decades after attacking 15-year-old Jacqui Montgomery.

13 January 2023

A killer rapist who murdered a teenager nearly 50 years ago has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years and 126 days in the oldest double jeopardy case in England and Wales.

Dennis McGrory was 28 when he sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled 15-year-old Jacqui Montgomery in her home in Islington, north London, in 1975.

The 75-year-old was cleared of murder the following year on the directions of a judge but was finally convicted decades later after swabs from Ms Montgomery’s body produced a one-in-a-billion DNA match.

After a 2003 change in the law on double jeopardy, McGrory’s case was referred to the Court of Appeal and sent for a fresh trial at the Old Bailey.

Sentencing McGrory, who appeared at Huntingdon Crown court via video-link from HMP Peterborough on Friday, Mr Justice Bryan told the killer: “I have no doubt whatsoever that you intended to kill her in your brutal attack on her.

“You put Jacqui through a horrific, violent and sustained ordeal in her own home – a place where she was entitled to feel safe.”

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