A “sadistic predator” who stabbed a City worker in the head, leaving her for dead just yards from her home, has been jailed for life.
Business analyst Qing Qing Rao, 30, has been left in a persistent vegetative state and is “extremely unlikely” ever to recover consciousness after the brutal attack by Barry Peacham.
Ms Rao had been married for less than six months and was walking home from work when weapons-obsessed Peacham, 26, plunged a knife into her head and then mutilated her before stealing her handbag, mobile phone and laptop computer.
She was found lying unconscious by a path in Castle Green Park in Dagenham, east London, having suffered “catastrophic” injuries.
Peacham, who was found guilty of wounding with intent and robbery but cleared of attempted murder following a trial at the Old Bailey, was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of nine years by Judge Anne Molyneux, who also handed him 12 years for robbery to run concurrently.
The judge said: “This was a brutal, sadistic and cowardly attack on a lone female making her way home from work.”
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She added: “You were a predator and showed her no mercy. The violence you used went way beyond that necessary for a robbery.”
She said the “gratuitous” sexual and sadistic violence he subjected his vulnerable victim to was particularly grave.
After Peacham’s conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes from Scotland Yard said: “To me this is a crime of pure evil.
“On that night he has effectively ended the life of a 30-year-old lady, who was on her way home from work, in the most brutal and vicious manner, stabbing her in the head, penetrating her brain.”
He branded Peacham “one of the most dangerous men I have ever dealt with” during his 28-year career in the police.
Ms Rao’s husband Ansgar Wenzel described her as a “wonderful, warm-hearted and happy girl, always friendly and happy to help anyone who needed her help”.
He said: “I would not miss a single day of the almost 10 years we have shared; I will always remember how she smiled and turned her head laughing on the morning of 13th February when she left for work; the goodbye kiss is one I will always cherish.”
The court heard that Peacham had previous convictions dating back to 2008, when he was found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon in public. He also had convictions for attacking his girlfriend in 2012 and robbery.