Is he hitting you? Leave!
- Tony McLernon jailed for 27 years for killing his ex-fiancée and unborn child
- CPS has admitted it ‘failed’ to charge him for an attack two months earlier
- He killed Eystna Blunnie and unborn daughter in savage attack in June 2012
By JAMES RUSH
Prosecutors have admitted they ‘failed’ to charge a man for an attack two months before he killed his pregnant ex-fiancée and their unborn child.
Unemployed alcoholic Tony McLernon, 24, lured Eystna Blunnie to her horrific end with a text saying ‘Got a surprise for you, hope you like it’.
The jobless computer game addict, high on cannabis, then forced the mother-to-be to the ground where he repeatedly stamped on her head and kicked her.
Lured: Eystna Blunnie, left, was found dying in the street after being attacked by her ex-boyfriend Tony McLernon, right
A review by the CPS has found McLernon should have been prosecuted for an earlier assault on Miss Blunnie.
The 20-year-old catering student suffered massive facial and head injuries in the murder on a housing estate in Harlow, Essex.
Her unborn daughter Rose – who was due just three days later – was also killed in the savage onslaught in June 2012.
McLernon had been arrested two months before the attack for strangling Miss Blunnie but the Crown Prosecution Service failed to recommend he be charged.
Grace Ononiwu, chief crown prosecutor for the East of England, said the ‘rational decision’ would have been ‘to authorise a charge’ based on the CPS domestic violence policy.
She said: ‘For this failure to authorise a charge in relation to the April 2012 incident, I have unreservedly apologised to Mr and Mrs Blunnie in person and in writing for the distress caused by this decision.’
McLernon was jailed for at least 27 years in March when he was found guilty of murder and child destruction following a trial lasting just over two weeks at Chelmsford Crown Court.
The trial heard he lured Eystna Blunnie, 20, to her death in July last year after telling friends she was trying to ruin his new relationship.
When they met near her home in Harlow he jumped on her, kicked her and left her to die in a pool of blood.
‘For this failure to authorise a charge in relation to the April 2012 incident, I have unreservedly apologised to Mr and Mrs Blunnie in person and in writing for the distress caused by this decision’
– Grace Ononiwu, chief crown prosecutor for the East of England
Ordering a minimum tariff of 27 years of a life sentence, Mr Justice Fulford said: ‘It is undoubtedly the case that he brutally and repeatedly attacked Eystna Blunnie during the course of their relationship.
‘He told friends he wanted her significantly harmed or killed. In April he strangled her, causing the baby distress.
‘This killing was not the result of an unthinking moment of anger but instead he had contemplated the attack over a long period of time.
‘The killing was truly terrible. The horrific screams heard by those nearby show the suffering and pain she suffered and for some period of time she would have been aware of the fatal consequences for herself and her child.
‘He has shown not the slightest shred of remorse.’
McLernon showed no emotion as he was led from the dock.
When questioned by police McLernon claimed she had been attacked by two men and he had been unable to defend her.
But the jury took just two hours to find him guilty of both murder and child destruction.
McLernon had earlier told the court how he had been drinking more than 20 litres of cider and Lambrini a day and was addicted to the computer game Guitar Hero at the time of the attack.
He described how he would rarely leave his bedroom, instead spending hours on end playing the Xbox game.
Giving evidence, McLernon said he had been ‘over the moon’ about the impending birth adding that, in the days leading up to Miss Blunnie’s death, they had been getting on well.
He said that his drinking and gaming habits put a strain on his relationship with Miss Blunnie.
CCTV footage captured a heavily-pregnant Eystna Blunnie, a catering student and barmaid, walking through the Harlow estate to meet McLernon talking on her mobile phone.
Asked if the text message was part of a scheme to tempt her to meet him, he said ‘absolutely not’ adding the surprise was that he had brought his dog, Alan, to see her.
McLernon, who said he had suffered from depression and was prone to self-harm, denied claims he had physically abused her and previous partners.
Culled from dailymail.co.uk