Plenty of Fish killer Carl Langdell jailed for murder of Cardinal Pole teacher Katie Locke

Katie Locke

Katie Locke - Credit: Archant

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment after strangling a school teacher to death, who he met on the dating website Plenty Of Fish.

Carl Langdell

Carl Langdell - Credit: Archant

Carl Langdell, 26, of Roundmoor Drive, Cheshunt, murdered 23-year-old Katie Locke on December 23.

The history and politics teacher - who taught at Cardinal Pole secondary school in Morning Lane - met Langdell at a bar in Shoreditch for the first time that day, before they checked into the Theobalds Hotel in Cheshunt.

When Katie’s family and friends realised on Christmas Eve she had not returned home, they tried to identify Landell and contacted him through Facebook.

He replied saying Katie had left in a taxi and he did not know where she was.

Katie Locke

Katie Locke - Credit: Archant

But they managed to track down where his family lived in Cheshunt, and on arrival Katie’s father discovered Langdell had just admitted to his mother in a telephone conversation that he had killed Katie.

Her body was found in a skip in the hotel’s grounds later that day.

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Langdell pleaded guilty to murder at St Albans Crown Court in March, and during a two day hearing last Thursday and Friday he was sentenced to a minimum 26-year-term.

Det Insp Fraser Wylie who led the investigation said: “I want to be clear that Carl Langdell is a dangerous, evil, manipulative and controlling individual who knew exactly what he was doing that night.

“He painted a picture of being a decent person, including claiming to be a lawyer which he wasn’t, and had refined his ways of dating to lure women into his trap.

Det Insp Wylie warned women to be vigilant whilst using dating sites and apps, adding: “It is growing increasingly popular and can be a great way to meet that special someone, but it is important to remember that they are still a stranger when you meet up with them for the first time and unfortunately, things do sometimes go wrong.”

In a statement Katie’s family said she was a “beautiful person both inside and out” and “completely irreplaceable”.

“Katie’s loss has robbed so many people - the friends who loved her, the workmates who relied upon her, the children she taught and those she would have gone on to teach in what promised to be a successful career.

“For us as a family to realise that any fantasist or predator can lie and publically portray themselves as anything their warped personalities would like is shocking.”

They continued: “Today’s result changes nothing. Katie is never coming home. All we can do is warn other young women to be careful in the hope that no other family ever has to go through the pain and trauma we have suffered.”