On the 8th October last year, Donnelly went to Patel’s London home on a date, throttling and stabbing her in a “drunken rage”.
Donnelly then left the Cricklewood home to visit another of his online dates, Rosie Ferrigno, who he also assaulted.
After three days on the run, Donnelly handed himself in to police on 11th October, but did not confess to the murder until the first day of his trial.
And today the 35-year-old was sentenced, receiving life in prison for the murder of Patel and assault on Ferrigno.
Speaking about the case, Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said it was “a particularly ferocious and violent attack.”
The judge also warned other online daters, saying: “This case is a stark warning to anyone who plans to meet someone following limited online contact.
“That meeting must take place in a public place until one person feels they know someone well enough.
“Usha Patel invited this defendant to come to her flat, she had spoken to him on a number of occasions on the phone and they had exchanged photos of their children.
“She was clearly anxious to meet a new partner but she paid for this invitation with her life.
“She was in my judgement an extremely vulnerable woman both by reason of what I know of her background and way of life at the time, but also in the moments leading to her death when she was undressed and heavily intoxicated.”
Donnelly will serve a minimum of 23 years for the murder of Patel and 18 months for the assault of Ferrigno.
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