Lodger battered landlady with Creme Egg mug and lived with corpse for a month

Lodger battered landlady with Creme Egg mug and lived with corpse for a month


A lodger who lived with the decomposing body of his landlady for a month after battering her with a Cadburys' Creme Egg coffee mug has been jailed for more than 12 years.

Kristian Smith, 43, shoved clothing up against 52-year-old Antoinette Donnegan's bedroom door to mask the smell of her rotting corpse as he used her credit cards and pawned her jewellery.

Smith told his girlfriend he was 'going down to the fires with old Lucifer' in a string of 'manipulative and deceitful' texts after the killing, the Old Bailey heard.

A jury found him guilty of manslaughter last month, although he was cleared of murder.

He was jailed for more than 12 years yesterday.

Ms Donnegan had suffered from health complaints including osteoporosis and had recently suffered a breakdown in relationships with her family.

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Smith 'intimidated' her and started bringing other women back as he lived there for free,  the court heard.

At 10pm on February 1, 2019 he struck her over the head with the mug and then stamped on her body, fracturing seven ribs.

Smith used her benefits to buy drugs and stayed in the house until March 7 when her body was finally discovered.

He sent a text message to his girlfriend Caroline French saying he had 'done something really bad.'

Smith added: "I've got a few weeks left. Don't wanna go down to the fires with old Lucifer without you sending me off."

Officers found Ms Donnegan's body lying on the bed at a property Este Road in Battersea, southwest London, with shards of the cup in her hair and her trousers around her ankles.

A jury convicted Smith of manslaughter but cleared him of murder.

He earlier admitted fraud and preventing a lawful burial.

Prosecutor Louis Mably QC said earlier: "The medical evidence suggests she was beaten up severely which led her to collapse and die."

The left boot mark of Smith's Ecco trainers were found up and down her chest during a post-examination as well as a swelling to the back of her head.

The court heard he hit her over the head with a cup and stole her money, telephone and jewellery.

Judge Philip Katz QC, sentencing, told the killer yesterday that Ms Donnegan's happy early childhood was blighted by abuse, adding that she became a heroin and cocaine addict.

He added that she coped well with her addiction and was popular among those who knew her.

"She met her death at your hands almost certainly on the night of February last year," the judge said.

"Her scalp injuries (from the mug) bled quickly and profusely.

"The head injuries probably led to unconsciousness creating the pathway to her death."

The judge rejected the defendant's claim that Ms Donnegan stabbed him with a needle.

He said that Smith might have acted in self-defence but that this only offered the 'faintest trace' of mitigation.

Smith, of no fixed address, admitted fraud and preventing a lawful burial but denied murder and was convicted of manslaughter.

He bowed his head and scowled as he was sentenced to twelve-and-a-half years yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector John Massey, the officer in the case, said: "This is a tragic case in which Antoinette's generosity in allowing Kristian Smith to stay in her flat has been abused in the worst way possible.

"Antoinette was a vulnerable individual who was battling addiction herself.

"We will never know what instigated Smith's brutal attack on Antoinette.

"But, what we do know, is that he then carried on with his life as if nothing had happened.

"He stole her bank card and withdrew money, presumably to buy drugs."

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