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Woman convicted of murdering her ex-partner’s fiancée

|News, Violent crime

The actions of a murder victim have helped to convict her killer by managing to scratch her attacker's face before she died in a ferocious attack at her home.

Sara McKenzie, 62, went to Joy Boulton’s home in Ash, Surrey, on the morning of 11 May 2023 and when Joy opened her front door, she was bludgeoned to death with a heavy implement. Joy's body was found by her fiancé when he returned from work that evening.

DNA found under Joy’s fingernails came from the defendant and blood was also found on the defendant’s clothing, which matched Joy’s DNA.

Joy’s fiancé was the ex-partner of Sara McKenzie. After the pair moved in together in October 2022, the defendant went to their home to confront Joy. Joy also believed abusive phone calls she had received had come from the defendant.

After Joy shared news of her engagement on social media in December 2022, there was a fire in the shed at the rear of McKenzie’s property, where her ex-partner’s belongings were being stored.

McKenzie tried to claim that she had been robbed by a woman in an alleyway as a way of explaining her facial injuries and said her ex-partner must have upset someone for both women to be attacked on the same day. Despite house-to-house enquiries in the area, no evidence of a robbery was found.   

Rebecca Millardship from CPS South East said:

“This was a ferocious and focused attack, which continued even once the victim was lying on the floor.

“Joy was able to scratch her attacker’s face just before she was incapacitated, giving us vital DNA evidence from under her fingernails that helped to secure the conviction.

“We were also able to demonstrate to the jury that there was a pattern of behaviour leading up to the murder, with Joy confiding in friends about the abuse she had suffered previously from the defendant.

“Despite the weight of evidence against her, the defendant continued with her false claims that she had been robbed on that day, as a way of trying to account for the injuries that Joy had inflicted on her in self-defence. We were able to prove to the court that this was not possible. 

“We hope that this verdict brings some small comfort to Joy’s family.”

Notes to editors

  • Sara McKenzie [DOB: 12/09/1961] was convicted of murder and perverting the course of justice in relation to the claims she had made about being the victim of a robbery on Joy Boulton was murdered.
  • Rebecca Millardship is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South East.

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