A man whose girlfriend fell to her death from a 14th floor window has been found guilty of murder.
David Douglas, 44 (28.09.70) of Elizabeth Blackwell House, Progress Way, Wood Green, N22 was today, Wednesday 5 August, found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of the murder of 43-year-old Dora Matthews.
He is being sentenced this afternoon.
Police were called just before 05:00hrs on 19 December 2013 following reports of an unconscious woman outside Elizabeth Blackwell House.
Officers and London Ambulance Service attended but the woman – later identified as Dora Matthews – was pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation was launched by detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command.
Detectives discovered that Dora had visited Douglas’ flat – on the 14th floor – on 18 December 2013 and had stayed the night.
Residents told officers that they had heard the couple arguing over the course of the evening and into the early hours of the morning. Dora had been heard to shout “stop”, “let me go” and “get off me” and there was a sound similar to furniture being dragged across the floor shortly before her death.
CCTV footage showed Douglas leaving his flat at 04:56hrs and looking towards where Dora’s body was lying before walking away.
Later that day, Douglas attended Tottenham police station with a prepared statement. He was arrested in connection with the investigation and bailed pending further enquiries.
A post-mortem examination held on 20 December 2013 gave the cause of death as multiple injuries, consistent with a fall from height. It was not clear whether Dora had sustained any injuries prior to the fall.
Douglas was charged with murder on Tuesday, 17 February.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “I would like to thank all of our brave witnesses who supported us.
“Dora Matthews was wearing a coat and had her car keys in her hand when she was found; this clearly indicates that she had been trying to leave.
“It is clear from witness accounts that Dora was subjected to sustained verbal, physical and psychological abuse by Douglas throughout the course of their volatile five-year relationship.
“I would urge anyone who is suffering domestic abuse not to suffer in silence and to have the confidence to contact the police or a recognised charity. Dora’s family are keen that her death shines a light on abusive relationships. The abuser will always make you feel that you were in the wrong – it’s part of their psychological control – but we are here to protect you.”
The court heard that Douglas had previously been convicted five times of domestic abuse against Dora and was subject to a restraining order at the time of her death.
Dora’s daughter Bianca, 24, said: “Today is justice for my mum, Dora Matthews. She died at the hands of someone who should have made her feel safe. The murder squad and the CPS have been exceptional and it’s only through our tragedy that you realise how hard they all worked. Through one person’s actions we have been robbed of an amazing mum, grandmother and friend.”
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