MURDER detectives who snared a killer who stabbed his ex-girlfriend through the neck have been presented with awards as praise for their investigation work on the harrowing case.
Eleven members of the team who brought 32-year-old Alexander Burnett to justice were commended by High Court Judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, with six officers receiving certificates at Derbyshire Police’s headquarters.
Burnett killed 52-year-old mother-of-three Lee Hendry at his home on Westlea View, Clowne, in September last year.
They had known each other more than 10 years earlier, and met again through a social networking website.
The day after the killing he handed himself in to police and officers found Lee’s body in a bedroom at his home.
In court during his trial Burnett claimed the death had been an accident, but he was found guilty and jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years.
DCI Gary Cathcart, DI Andrew Jones, DC John Kelly, retired DC John Flint, crime scene manager Sarah Allen and major crime unity investigator Kathryn Way accepted their awards from the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Alan Woods.
Lee had been reunited with Burnett during an evening at the killer’s home, after they contacted each other through Facebook.
Burnett said he stabbed Lee through the neck during a sex game that went wrong.
Sentencing at the end of the trial, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said the case was ‘characterised by a manifest, deliberate and chilling intent to kill’.
“Lee Hendry’s untimely death and the manner of it has deeply affected the family,” he added.
“Their sentence will be a life sentence of loss.”
The judge also praised Derbyshire Police’s handling of the case in his remarks. Following the sentencing, DCI Cathcart said: “There is no doubt that an extremely dangerous man has been removed from our community.”