Pensioner who murdered teen in 1975 jailed after one-in-a-billion DNA match

A killer rapist convicted of the decades-old murder of a teenager after a one-in-a-billion DNA match has been jailed in the oldest double jeopardy case in England and Wales.

Dennis McGrory was aged 28 when he sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled 15-year-old Jacqui Montgomery in her home in Islington, north London, in 1975.

The 75-year-old was cleared of murder the following year on the directions of a judge but was finally convicted decades later after swabs from Ms Montgomery’s body produced a one-in-a-billion DNA match.

After a 2003 change in the law on double jeopardy, McGrory’s case was referred to the Court of Appeal and sent for a fresh trial at the Old Bailey.

He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years and 126 days on Friday.

Sentencing McGrory, who appeared at Huntingdon Crown court via video-link from HMP Peterborough on Friday, Mr Justice Bryan told the killer: “I have no doubt whatsoever that you intended to kill her in your brutal attack on her.

“You put Jacqui through a horrific, violent and sustained ordeal in her own home – a place where she was entitled to feel safe.

“In the decades that followed, you must have thought you had gotten away with your hideous crimes.

“How any man could inflict such sexual violence on a 15-year-old child that had done them no harm beggars belief.

“You have shown not one iota of remorse or compassion for Jacqui or Jacqui’s family.

“You cut short that life and deprived her of that life, and all the things she hoped for in that life.”

McGrory’s retrial, in March, was halted when the defendant, of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, fell ill.

He appeared for his retrial at Huntingdon Crown Court by video-link and was found guilty of rape and murder.

The jury deliberated on Monday for just over an hour to convict McGrory on both charges.

Jurors were told McGrory had been “wild with rage” when he murdered Jacqui as he tried to track down his ex-partner Josie Montgomery, who was the victim’s aunt.

During the attack, he ripped out a page of the teenager’s diary with her aunt’s address on it.

Jacqui’s body was found by her father, Robert Montgomery, lying on the floor of their living room in Offord Road in the early hours of June 2, 1975.

She had suffered fatal stab wounds as well as blunt force trauma to the face and been strangled with the flex of an iron.

McGrory had threatened to rape Jacqui in the past and, on that night, he “made good” on those words, jurors were told.

How any man could inflict such sexual violence on a 15-year-old child that had done them no harm beggars belief

Mr Justice Bryan

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