Plumstead: Judges verdict on Toni Rudman's killer

PUBLISHED: 16:50 17 February 2011 | UPDATED: 16:50 17 February 2011

Ryan Backhouse

Ryan Backhouse


The trial judge told the teenage killer Ryan Backhouse he had taken the life of a person "much loved by her family," and had left his victim looking "virtually unrecognisable" after the attack.

Toni Rudman

He showed no emotion as he was convicted by the jury at Woolwich Crown Court.

Judge Charles Byers, said he was satisfied that he was a “dangerous young man” and that there will always be a “significant risk of serious harm to the public” if he was at large.

Sentencing him on Thursday, he said: “You are 19 years of age, soon to be 20 and you have already demonstrated in your life that in drink you react badly and you have on occasion assaulted other people and committed offences of threatening behaviour and criminal damage.

“On August 7 you committed a sustained and brutal attack upon a woman who you had met only some half-an-hour before.

After the attack, Backhouse fled the scene in his bloodied clothes walking quickly through nearby wasteland and occasionally breaking into a jog.

“You punched her so often that her face was virtually unrecognisable. You kicked her, leaving her with severe injuries to her head and body from which she was later to die.

“I am quite satisfied that you are a dangerous young man and that there always will be a significant risk of serious harm to the public while you are at large, until such time until you have grown out of it.

“The CCTV footage of you walking along the bank afterwards is telling and by your actions you took the life of a person who was much loved by her family and who clearly with the right help and guidance could have had a lot to offer.”

On the night of the murder, Backhouse claimed he had drunk seven cans of beer and a three litre bottle of cider and had no recollection of battering Ms Rudman to death within minutes of meeting her.

The eldest of three boys and a girl, Backhouse started drinking at the age of 13 and struggled at school.

When the teenager was asked how he viewed the world, he said: “No one else cares, so why should I?”

His previous convictions include causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage, possession of a screwdriver, using threatening or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of a knife.

Mr Backhouse has previously received two short detention and training orders for these offences.

The investigating officer Detective Inspector John McQuade said: “We are naturally pleased with the verdict and would like to thank and praise the Rudman family for their dignity during the difficult trial.

“We hope the minimum sentence of 15 years will give them some comfort and remove a dangerous and violent man from the community. Whilst acknowledging the extreme violence used by Backhouse, this type of offence remains, thankfully, very rare.”

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