Callous thug convicted of murdering Homerton girlfriend Gaynor Bale

Gaynor Bale was murdered by long-term boyfriend Douglas Samuel.

Gaynor Bale was murdered by long-term boyfriend Douglas Samuel. - Credit: Archant

A callous thug who murdered his partner by punching her so hard in the stomach he ruptured her liver was jailed for 20 years today.

Gaynor Bale

Gaynor Bale - Credit: Archant

Douglas Samuel, who had a history of violence towards 34-year-old Gaynor Bale, delivered the fatal blow as she lay defenceless on the kitchen floor of her home in Anderson Road, Homerton, on November 22.

Samuel, of Link Street, Homerton, then snatched her phone, cash and left the house on her bicycle as she bled to death from the internal injury.

Ms Bale, a domestic assistant at St Joseph’s Hospice in Mare Street, Hackney, was found dead at around 9.35pm that evening and Samuel was charged with her murder three days later.

The 35-year-old had been jailed twice for breaching a restraining order by contacting her but managed to convince her to renew their six-year relationship, during which staff at Ms Bales workplace would often see her with bruises to her face and eyes.

He admitted manslaughter and insisted he did not intend to cause really serious injury. But a jury convicted him of murder and he and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 20 years.

Judge Paul Worsley QC told him: “The violence was severe, in fact similar to the injuries to be found in someone after a road traffic accident.

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“She was vulnerable, not just physically but mentally, and she had been struck so often that you knew she would not complain.

“The attack took place upon her in her own home, and that was a place she might have hoped to have some refuge away from you.

“You straddled her, and punched her so hard in the stomach as she lay helpless on the ground that it pulped the liver.

“She would have been dead or approaching unconsciousness within two minutes.

“You had no injury, you showed no regret, and did not help her or alert the ambulance service.’

The judge dubbed Samuel “callous” for stealing her mobile phone, cash and bicycle, then phoning her father the following day from the Blackberry giving him false hope she might still be alive. “I have detected in you no sign of remorse for the taking of her life”, he added.

Samuel, a heavy user of cocaine and alcohol, accepted he had assaulted his partner on several occasions during their six year relationship.

He told jurors that he felt ‘frustrated’ because she was more intelligent and better at arguments.

Samuel said: “She used to say things that wound me up, upset me.

“She couldn’t control her mouth and I couldn’t control my hands, that’s how it was. It was out of frustration I suppose.”

Gaynor’s mother Frances, a statement to the court, said: “‘There are no words to describe the pain and regret we face daily’, she said.

‘I can’t believe I will never see, hear, or touch our beautiful, full of life, loving daughter again.

‘The pain in my heart is just unbearable.”