Skydiving instructor jailed for life after murdering girlfriend

Ashley Kemp murdered Clair Armstrong in her own home (Picture: Humberside Police/Facebook)

A man who strangled his mum-of-three girlfriend in her home has been jailed for a minimum of 19 years.

Ashley Kemp, who showed ‘nothing but self-pity from beginning to end’ of the trial, was given a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering Clair Armstrong.

Kemp, 55, phoned 999 on November 6 of last year and said: ‘I have killed my girlfriend. We got into a fight, and I ended up strangling her.’

He fled the scene and crashed his car into a tree near Clair’s home in the village of Messingham, Lincolnshire, where he was found and arrested.

Clair, 50, was a skydiving instructor and owned a beauty salon. Her relationship with Kemp was ending because a teenager had made sexual allegations against him, the court heard.

Sentencing him at Hull crown court, Judge John Thackray KC said Kemp had decided ‘if you could not have her, nobody could’ and the circumstances of the attack were ‘devastating, tragic and brutal’.

Judge Thackray added: ‘On the day in question, she had informed you that the relationship was finally over and that you must move out.

‘I have no hesitation in concluding, so that I am sure, that you intended to kill.

Kemp denied murder but was found guilty after a trial (Picture: Humberside Police)

Clair Armstrong owned a beauty salon (Picture: Facebook)

‘I do not accept that you are genuinely remorseful. During your evidence, I detected nothing but self-pity from beginning to end.’

The judge added that no sentence he passed could bring Clair back to her three sons, describing her as a ‘wholly blameless victim’.

Kemp, of Robinson Grove, Hibaldstow, showed no emotion as he sat in the glass-fronted dock wearing a grey suit, white shirt and purple tie.

Clair tried to break up with Kemp (Picture: Facebook)

He listened as Ms Armstrong’s brother-in-law, Ian Farrell, read an impact statement on behalf of her ‘siblings and sons’.

Mr Farrell said Kemp did not have the ‘decency to fully admit what he had done’, adding: ‘Sadly, he did not have the courage to do that and, as a result, we have sat through utterly horrific accounts and details about how Clair was taken from our lives.’

He said this would ‘haunt us forever’.

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Mr Farrell said Ms Armstrong’s death had ‘shattered us all and left a huge hole in our lives that can never be filled’.

He said: ‘Clair, our beautiful sister and mum, was tragically taken from us in such horrific circumstances that we will never accept or understand.’

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