Killer who battered and stabbed his girlfriend, 40, to death is jailed for 19 years 

William Smart  has been jailed for life after savagely battering and stabbing his girlfriend

William Smart  has been jailed for life after savagely battering and stabbing his girlfriend

William Smart  has been jailed for life after savagely battering and stabbing his girlfriend

A killer savagely battered and stabbed his girlfriend in their home after she bought vodka instead of his usual drink and then left her to die while he went to the chip shop.

Angela Craddock, 40, – remembered by her loved ones as ‘intelligent, artistic and compassionate’ – was murdered in her own home by William Smart, days after he had been released from jail for attacking her.

She suffered more than 100 injuries in the fatal assault. Afterwards, callous Smart, 55, went to buy food and booze and boasted of attacking her in abusive outbursts to witnesses.

His victim had repeatedly complained of domestic violence at the hands of Smart, who had been released from prison just seven days before the killing after serving time for another attack on her.

Smart, who attacked Angela on the evening of April 10 at St Elphins Close, Warrington, has now been jailed for life. He was found guilty of murder following a trial, and told he must serve a minimum of 19 years before he will be eligible for parole.

Angela Craddock, 40, - remembered by her loved ones as 'intelligent, artistic and compassionate' - was murdered in her own home by William Smart 

Angela Craddock, 40, - remembered by her loved ones as 'intelligent, artistic and compassionate' - was murdered in her own home by William Smart 

Angela Craddock, 40, – remembered by her loved ones as ‘intelligent, artistic and compassionate’ – was murdered in her own home by William Smart 

Thanking Cheshire Police, her brother David Craddock welcomed the sentence, passed at Liverpool Crown Court today, as one which meant ‘William Smart can no longer be free to hurt another woman’.

It is believed Angela spent the last day of her life with Smart, 55, of Winmarleigh Street, at her house. Angela visited Sainsbury’s supermarket several times that day to buy wine, vodka, whisky and Easter decorations.

When she returned to the flat Smart was unhappy that she had bought Easter decorations and vodka – which was not his usual drink – and angry that there was no food.

Witnesses heard arguing in the build-up to Angela being fatally beaten.

Leaving her helpless and dying, Smart went first to the chip shop before buying alcohol at Bargain Booze, where he said: ‘My missus has attacked me, she does this all the time. I think she’s on the floor dead, anyway. So what if I’ve got blood on my shoes?’

A customer asked staff to call police. Smart went out into the street ranting, and then into a pub at Padgate Lane, the Famous King and Queen, where he appeared ‘spaced out and drunk with blood on the side of his face’.

It is believed Angela spent the last day of her life with Smart, 55, of Winmarleigh Street, at her house. Angela visited Sainsbury's supermarket several times that day to buy wine, vodka, whisky and Easter decorations. 

It is believed Angela spent the last day of her life with Smart, 55, of Winmarleigh Street, at her house. Angela visited Sainsbury's supermarket several times that day to buy wine, vodka, whisky and Easter decorations. 

It is believed Angela spent the last day of her life with Smart, 55, of Winmarleigh Street, at her house. Angela visited Sainsbury’s supermarket several times that day to buy wine, vodka, whisky and Easter decorations. 

Refused a drink, he cleaned himself up in the toilets, before going to the Co-op store to try and buy rum. He was arrested shortly afterwards.

Around the same time, Angela was lying on the floor under a blanket.

Paramedics treated her there before she was taken to Warrington Hospital but she could not be saved.

Smart’s trial heard that five days before the murder he bought a bouquet of flowers from a florist in Warrington for Angela. 

When asked what he wanted written on the card he said to write a question mark, adding: ‘She f***ing anorexic, stick thin… I’ll get 30 punches tonight for this [sending flowers].’

On seeing a blade on the counter, used to cut flowers, he warned one florist: ‘I thought I’d told you to move that f***ing knife….I’ve just come out of prison for 10 years for stabbing someone.’

Smart then started making karate moves while in the shop, telling staff: ‘If you need me, just call me.’

Following his arrest on the night of the fatal attack, Smart abused Angela in a rant to police, adding: ‘I’ve got rid of her at last.’

Told Angela had died, his mood changed, and he begged police: ‘Angela I love you, you’re not dead. Have I killed her? I want to die. Please tell me she’s okay.’

Later, Smart admitted to killing Angela but said he couldn’t remember how it happened. He claimed he remembered watching Angela dancing in the lounge area before passing out.

He claimed that when he came round he saw her lying on the floor, with blood coming from her nose, and said he covered her with a blanket before leaving the house.

When asked why he didn’t raise the alarm or try to help Angela, Smart said that he didn’t think that her injuries looked that bad.

Detective Inspector Kate Tomlinson, who was in charge of the investigation, said following sentence: ‘Today justice has been served for Angela and her family. Our thoughts remain very much with them as they continue to come to terms with their tragic loss.

‘His actions that day were vicious and Smart showed nothing but rage as he relentlessly attacked Angela, leaving her with horrific injuries and no chance of survival. During my 24 years in the police service I have never come across a case of such brutality.

‘I cannot begin to comprehend what Angela would have gone through that fateful night as well as the agonising and heart breaking pain her family has felt since she passed away. This has been a devastating time for them and their lives have changed forever.’

William Smart in a chip shop after killing Angela Craddock

William Smart in a chip shop after killing Angela Craddock

William Smart in a chip shop after killing Angela Craddock

CCTV shows William Smart in a pub after killing Angela Craddock

CCTV shows William Smart in a pub after killing Angela Craddock

CCTV shows William Smart in a pub after killing Angela Craddock

The trial heard how Miss Craddock had previously and repeatedly complained of domestic violence at the hands of Smart.

Smart showed no emotion as he was sent down. Judge Flewitt condemned him for the lack of remorse he has shown since the killing and during the trial.

‘Angela Craddock was a slight woman who was working to get her life back on track’, the judge said. (Her death) has left a void in the lives of those who love her.’

Judge Neil Flewitt said the couple were brought together due to their alcohol dependency with Smart ‘the violent one’ and Ms Craddock ‘frightened of you.’ 

And he branded Smart as a ‘devious and manipulative’ man whose violence was ‘relentless and unrestrained.’

 

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