The son of a murdered civil servant branded her sex-obsessed killer an ‘evil being’ as he faced him down in court today.
Kasim Lewis, 32, bound and gagged Catherine Burke, 55, in her £700,000 home in Muswell Hill, north London, before stabbing her to death in November 2017. He was given a minimum 40-year life sentence this afternoon.
The convicted sex offender, who was supposed to be under police monitoring at the time, struck again just weeks later.
He attacked Iuliana Tudos, 22, as she walked home through Finsbury Park, north London, on Christmas Eve 2017.
He is already serving life for Ms Tudos’ murder and the effect of today’s sentence is that he will spend longer in jail before he can apply for parole and will be in his 70s if he ever gets out.
Ms Burke’s son Niall Galbally came face to face with his mother’s killer at Lewis’s sentencing today and gave an emotional statement to court.
Kasim Lewis admitted the murder of retired civil servant Catherine Burke in Muswell Hill, north London. He is already serving a life sentence for killing a barmaid in Finsbury Park
Mr Galbally later spoke outside court, telling reporters he felt ‘numb’ when he looked into his mother’s killer’s eyes
Mr Galbally told a courtroom packed with family members: ‘There are simply no amount of words that can describe the sheer devastation this has caused me and my family.’
The 22-year-old, who was studying in Brighton at the time of his mother’s murder, said Lewis’s ‘wicked and senseless act’ had caused an ‘untold amount of pain’.
He added that his relationship with his mother had been ‘blossoming’ as she finally accepted he had become a man, but ‘the actions of this evil being has robbed that from us and it’s something I will never get back’.
‘A massive hole resides in my heart for my mother and no amount of justice will mend that. I take great comfort in the fact the man responsible for such brutality has been caught.’
As he left the witness box, Mr Galbally looked at Lewis in the dock.
Later speaking outside court, Mr Galabally said he felt ‘numb’ when he looked in Lewis’s eyes.
He added: “This whole ordeal has been nothing short of horrendous. I take great solace from the fact this man will never walk the street again.”
Paying tribute to his mother, Mr Galbally quoted lyrics from her favourite Dougie MacLean song, Caledonia, saying: ‘Let me tell you I love you and think about you all the time.’
Ms Burke’s son Niall was studying in Brighton at the time of her murder. Ms Burke is pictured, left, at a party. Iuliana Tudos (right), Lewis’s other victim, was found naked and slashed after she was assaulted with a broken bottle on her way home from work
Last year, Lewis was jailed for life and ordered to serve 29 years for killing Iuliana Tudos
Ms Burke’s son, Niall Galbally, gave an emotional statement at Lewis’s sentencing today
Jailing Lewis today, Judge Richard Marks QC told him: ‘You subjected your victim, a vulnerable middle-aged lady living alone, to an unimaginably dreadful ordeal.
‘You are in my judgement an extremely dangerous individual and the aggravating features of your case are very considerable.
‘You pleaded guilty at the eleventh hour and 59th minute and the lateness of your plea makes your assertions of remorse ring extremely hollow.’
Double killer’s 40-year tariff puts him on a par with Ian Huntley
The 40-year minimum term given to Kasim Lewis today is among the longest handed out to any criminal not given a ‘whole-life’ prison term.
It means that, technically, Lewis will be able to apply for parole when he is 72, but he is unlikely ever to be freed.
Many of Britain’s most notorious killers, such as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and Levi Bellfield, are serving whole-life orders.
Lewis’s sentence today puts him in the same category as Sarah Payne’s killer Roy Whiting and Ian Huntley (pictured, above), the murderer of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. Both of those men are also serving 40-year minimum terms.
Ms Burke’s killing was similar to the killing of that of Iuliana Tudos, who Lewis murdered weeks later.
The barmaid from Moldova suffered a brutal sexually motivated attack lasting up to 90 minutes, during which Lewis bound her ankles and wrists with cable ties after hitting her over the head with a broken bottle and slashing her neck, abdomen and wrists.
Despite the killings being just six weeks apart, detectives only made the connection when the same Scotland Yard officer was given both cases by chance.
When Lewis was arrested on January 1, 2018, police recovered violent pornographic films from his phone. These included images of a woman being chased and bound with cable ties, and another showing a woman being stabbed in the neck.
They also discovered pornographic images which mirrored what he may have done to Miss Burke.
But officers failed to realise that he had Miss Burke’s phone and her son’s Kindle, which he stole from her home as trophies.
It was only when these key pieces of evidence were discovered during subsequent searches that detectives were able to charge him with Miss Burke’s murder.
Ms Burke was found bound, gagged and murdered at her home in north London in 2017
Kasim Lewis was jailed for sex attack and freed
2005: Lewis was handed two years for sexual assault and exposure on a bus and placed on the sex offenders register.
2011: He received a further eight months in jail for failing to comply with the sex offender notification requirements and a community order.
November 16, 2017: Lewis murders Catherine Burke.
December 24, 2017: He murders Iuliana Tudos in a similar attack.
May 2018: He is jailed for life for Ms Tudos’ murder.
July 2019: He admits Catherine Burke’s murder. He is later jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 40 years.
The discovery prompted a major review by Scotland Yard and the National Crime Agency (NCA), who feared Lewis may have claimed more victims.
But despite a trawl of unsolved murders and stranger rapes going back a decade, they have yet to link him to any other crimes. Yesterday Lewis finally admitted to Miss Burke’s murder when he appeared at the Old Bailey.
He had been due to stand trial this week, having previously denied involvement in the killing, but he entered a guilty plea at the last minute.
Now it can be revealed that the predator, who was described by a judge as ‘wicked beyond belief’, is a convicted burglar and sex offender with an appalling criminal record of 11 convictions for 21 offences.
Lewis was under the supervision of the Metropolitan Police’s sex offenders management team at the time of both murders after previously failing to comply with notification requirements at least five times.
Ms Burke was seen on CCTV going to the shops shortly before she was murdered
The drug addict, who is HIV positive, arrived in Britain from his homeland of Montserrat in 1995 after a volcano disaster.
In 2005, he was jailed for two years for sexual assault and exposure on a bus.
He was jailed again in 2011 for repeatedly failing to notify the authorities of his whereabouts.
Then he was convicted of burglary in 2010 and again in 2013. When he was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 29 years for the killing of Miss Tudos in May last year, Judge Richard Marks QC told him: ‘What you did to her was wicked beyond belief.’
The court heard how the sadist was high on cocaine, cannabis and alcohol when he carved the Batman logo into the barmaid’s chest. Yesterday, relatives of Miss Burke were not in court to see his plea.
CCTV footage showed Lewis using Ms Tudos’ bank card and her PIN at a cash machine
Neighbours described the retired council worker from Galway in Ireland as a ‘lovely and funny’ mother who ‘would do anything for anyone’.
The Met Police said: ‘Catherine Burke’s murder was investigated thoroughly and expeditiously. No opportunities were missed to identify Kasim Lewis as Iuliana’s killer before he went on to murder her.
‘Police management of Lewis was reviewed independently by the Met’s Serious Crime Review Group. It found that the management of Lewis was sufficient, and that there were no apparent triggers that could have indicated or predicted the sudden level of escalation in his offending.’