Former Exmouth man jailed for life for murdering mum
PUBLISHED: 08:10 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 07 September 2019
Jason Carr has been jailed for life for murdering his partner.
Carr started a relationship with victim Sarah Fuller after moving into her home in Exeter and strangled the mother-of-two to death after they came back from having dinner with friends.
Carr, of Chancellors Way, and previously from Exmouth, admitted murder and was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 14 years, two months by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court on Thursday (September 5).
They had been squabbling all night and he attacked her after they returned by taxi to her home in Chancellors Way, Whipton.
Ms Fuller sent a text to a friend at 12.53am saying 'Hun, everything is okay' but within an hour and a half she was dead.
Carr strangled her and left her partially naked body on a bed before he cycled off into the night and made a half hearted attempt to take his own life by scratching his neck with a kitchen knife.
He called police when he was outside the Spar Shop in Pinhoe Road at 4.30am on the morning of April 17 this year and confessed to the killing.
He was recorded as he told the operator: "Basically, I have killed my girlfriend. We have been arguing for months and months and months and tonight I strangled her."
Ms Fuller, aged 35, was a former hotel receptionist who had also worked as a ward administrator at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. She also acted as a host to dozens of foreign schoolchildren and students who stayed at her home in Exeter.
She had recently settled a divorce from her husband Christopher and was living alone with her two children, a girl of six and a boy of two, until Carr answered a Facebook advertisement and became her lodger.
Carr, aged 35, was a builder's labourer who had convictions for violence dating back to his teens and who had served time for grievous bodily harm.
He had moved into the home she shared about six months before the murder and started a volatile relationship within weeks.
They split up briefly in February after an incident in which he smashed a glass and the police were called to eject him from the house.
The victim sent a message to her sister Lisa in which she said he was 'a grade A psycho', but then took Carr back a few weeks before she was killed.
The couple had just come back from visiting her parents in Farnborough, Surrey, and had dropped off the two children with them and her sister Lisa before coming back to Devon together.
They had both been drinking while having dinner with friends but argued about each spending too much time looking at their phones. Their friends said they had been 'sniping' at one another.
Judge Johnson said: "You strangled her with a tight grip for around 30 seconds. She last thing she would have seen was the face of the man who was killing her and taking her away from her children.
"This was a terrible death. She struggled but you were too strong and too determined to kill her. I have no doubt you intended to kill her.
"The effect of her death will never leave her still young family and her friends. The moving impact statements of her estranged husband and her sister have given an insight into their sense of loss."
Jo Martin, QC, prosecuting, said the murder happened some time between the victim and Carr arriving home by taxi at around 12.50 am and when Carr left the house at 2.20 am.
Ms Fuller texted the friends they had been with at 12.53 m to say she was okay and must have been killed some time after that.
She said:"Carr grabbed her by the jaw and squeezed. She was strangled with such force to fracture a cartilage in her larynx and the pathologist says he would have had to maintain a tight grip for at least 30 seconds.
"There were scratch marks to his head and chest which suggest she tried to get him off her, but she simply was not strong enough."
Carr left on a bicycle and spent two hours riding around before calling the police from outside the Spar shop in Pinhoe, a mile and a half from the house.
Miss Martin said Carr has previous convictions for assault and previous partners had also complained about violence.
Ms Fuller's sister Lisa went into the witness box to read a moving impact statement which told how the two children are now living apart; the girl with her and the boy with his father.
She said:"The impact is immeasurable and is life changing for me. I have lost my only sister. We were very close. Although it was Sarah who lost her life, the whole family are victims.
"The enormous and serious impact cannot be put into words. Life cannot and will not ever be the same again."
Ms Fuller's ex husband Christopher also made an impact statement which was read to the court, telling how both he and the children would miss her throughout their lives.
He said he also faces the challenge in the future of finding an appropriate way of telling their son about her death.
Nigel Laws, QC, defending, said Carr took responsibility for the killing from the moment he called the police and pleaded guilty as soon as a psychiatric report showed he had no defence of diminished responsibility.
He said he is full of remorse and acknowledges that prison is the right place for him to be.
He said Carr has suffered from depression and has made two suicide attempts in the past, including one in which he walked into the sea.