LIFE should mean LIFE’
PUBLISHED: 16:59 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 25 August 2010
THE brother of a murdered doctor has blasted her killer s sentence of 15 years as an injustice saying life should mean life
THE brother of a murdered doctor has blasted her killer's sentence of 15 years as an injustice saying "life should mean life".
Gilbert Anyetei, 51, speaking from Johannesburg, South Africa, said he was angry and disappointed after hearing David Quartey, 22, could serve as little as 14 years, having spent a year on remand.
Law student Quartey, of Humber Road, Dartford, claimed in court he loved Dr Victoria Anyetei, 54, 'like a mother' and would never harm her.
But he was found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court last Thursday by a jury of eight men and four women of stabbing the former Sidcup consultant 57 times in a frenzied attack on August 14, last year.
Mr Anyetei, a gynaecologist, said: "I am happy that he was found guilty but I am not happy at all about the sentence. Life should mean life, it is not long enough. This is a travesty, it is an injustice to Victoria.
"When I heard the sentence I was angry and disappointed, especially for the way she was murdered.
"This was a person who she took in as a favour, she offered him her home and treated him like her own son.
"He says she was like a mother to him yet he stabs her 57 times. It's so tragic, it's an injustice to give him just 15 years. Friends and relatives in Africa were shocked at the sentence and many in fact said they were disgusted.
"The sentence has caused a lot of distress but we got the right verdict. Her killer is in prison and in my opinion he should stay there forever."
A Judicial Communications Office spokesperson said: "All sentencing decisions in particular cases reflect the full range of evidence presented to the court in that case at that time, and a variety of other relevant factors which the judge must have regard to, including the statutory framework, Court of Appeal judgements and any mitigating or aggravating features."
During a four-week trial the jury heard how Quartey 'cracked' after failing university exams.
The 54-year-old Ghanaian children's doctor was knifed as she sat in her car on the driveway of her home in Teynham Road, Dartford.
She bit Quartey and also suffered bite marks, matching Quartey's teeth, as she desperately struggled to fend off the hideous attack.
Moments before she left for work as a consultant paediatrician at St Thomas Hospital, London, she told her son Andrew Thompson, 21, that Quartey was 'scaring her'. She never made it to work and was hacked to death in her car.
Quartey - the son of a high court judge in Ghana - was told he will serve a minimum of 15 years, minus 327 days already served on remand, before being considered for parole.
Despite his anger over the sentence, Mr Anyetei praised the police team, neighbours and residents for their help in the investigation.
He added: "I was amazed, actually amazed, by the police response. I can't thank them enough for getting Victoria's killer. She was like a mother to the whole family and she deserved the best. The police did their very best and got him. On behalf of myself, the family and the people of my country I thank the police, the people of Dartford, Kent and everyone over in England who did their bit for Victoria in her life and death."
Speaking about her son Andrew Thompson, 21, who discovered the body and gave evidence in court, he added: "He is immensely brave but he is still quite distraught. The family want to try and move on with our lives as best we can."
After the verdict, another brother Jonathan Anyetei, 61, a dental surgeon from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, said: "We are very happy with the verdict, and are so pleased that we have now got justice for Victoria.
"Her death has left a vacuum in our lives which will never be filled. She was one of the leading members of our family. She helped the weaker ones in the family and was always there whenever anyone had a problem. One member of our family who will miss her the most is our youngest sister, who is very ill and relied so much on Victoria.
"We take consolation in the fact that Victoria is now in a place where nobody can harm her."
Quartey had been living with Dr Anyetei and her son at the time of her murder. He was not related to the family, although described himself as Dr Anyetei's nephew.
Sentencing Judge Jeremy Carey said: "I have no doubt that on August 14, last year in an episode of uncontrollable rage, David Quartey brutally murdered his guardian, Dr Anyetei, as she sat in her car.
"The most sinister part of this act was when he took steps in a cool and calculated way to hide his tracks.
"I assess David Quartey to be a highly dangerous young man, someone who poses a significant danger."
He told him: "By your wicked act you have deprived a son of a loving mother and a close family of a supportive sister."
Jury members heard that Quartey disposed of the murder weapon and then 'discovered' the horrific murder two hours later.
The investigation, the jury heard, unravelled a sequence of events where Quartey had lied to Dr Anyetei about failing exams and attending university. He was identified as the killer and charged on September 30, last year.
Officers found inconsistencies with Quartey's account of events, leading to crucial DNA and bite mark evidence. His trainers were found to have Dr Anyetei's blood on them, together with particles of a scouring pad, found missing from the bathroom of the doctor's house, which he had used to try and clean them.
The murder weapon, together with her glasses and car key were never found.
Dr Anyetei, who came from a large Ghanaian family, moved to England in around 1996 and had lived in Dartford for eight years.
She was a locum consultant paediatrician at St Thomas' Hospital, London for eight months before her murder. During her time in England she also worked for Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, University Hospital, Lewisham, Queen Mary's in Sidcup and Kings College Hospital.