Dating site killer
Before their meeting, Donnelly had bombarded the mother, who the Old Bailey heard was “desperate for a new relationship”, with sexually explicit messages before telling her: “I will treat you like a princess.” The pair drank alcohol on the night of the attack with them undressing before Donnelly, who has a history of violence when drunk or on drugs, killed his date by beating her ferociously about the head and strangling her.
Donnelly has a string of convictions for threatening and abusive behaviour, possession of a knife, criminal damage, robbery, racially aggravated assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an attack on a prison officer, battery, and other acquisitive crimes.
Online dating is a multi-billion dollar industry with over 40 million users and growing every day.
Prosecutor Simon Denison QC told the court that a psychiatric assessment had found Donnelly to have a “psychopathic personality”.
He said: “The evidence shows the defendant to have met and murdered Usha Patel, and assaulted Rosie Ferrigno, at a time when he was driven by compulsions to drink, take cocaine, and have sex.
The prosecutor said they make "very sad reading," adding: "It is clear he wanted to meet up for sex and she was accepting of that." He later told Ms Patel his mother had died, that he wanted more than just sex and was looking for a life partner, promising: "I will treat you like a princess." The night before they first met face-to-face, Donnelly said: "If I come to you tonight..you nurse me back to health... If you do that babe I will marry you tomorrow." The night of the organised date, Donnelly took two bottles of rose wine to her flat while she bought bottles of Magners cider for Donnelly.
Mr Denison said: "It is clear from all the evidence, from the scene and from her phone and his, that he went to her home that evening by arrangement, to drink and to have sex, and they drank, and they both undressed, and for a reason that she cannot tell us and he won't tell us, he killed her and then left in a hurry.