A man has been found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment following a two week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Anthony Ayres , 48, of Fairlop Avenue in Canvey, has been convicted of the murder of 36-year-old Kelly Pearce who died in hospital after receiving multiple injuries in a property in Canvey on Thursday, November 19.
A manhunt was launched when Ayres made off after stabbing Miss Pearce. He was arrested in Southend the next day after being spotted by an off-duty Essex Police officer.
Senior Investigating Officer, DI Steve Ellis said: “Ayres is a dangerous individual who brutally attacked Miss Pearce, inflicting horrendous injuries. I would like to thank the family for their patience as we sought to locate Ayres and successfully bring him to justice.
“While the verdict cannot bring Kelly back I hope this brings them a form of closure to their tragic loss.
Kelly s mother, Lynne Wallings and her partner, Richard said: “Kelly was a colourful character, who made an impression on everyone she met. She was loved dearly by her friends and family and she showed us so much love and kindness back.
“Kelly will be missed by her mum Lynn, step father Richard, son Josh, Sister Lisa and all her family. We know nothing can bring her back. The verdict today was the right one, at least now Kelly can rest in peace knowing that Anthony Ayres will be sent to prison for the rest of his life.
“We would like to thank Essex Police and the investigation team, for all they have done throughout this horrific ordeal to get justice for Kelly. We would also personally like to thank the first responders, the police and the paramedics who tried their hardest to save Kelly. Their efforts will never be forgotten. Lastly, thanks to Cairns Nelson and Peter Gair for prosecuting Kelly s case and getting justice.
“Now the Court case is over, we would like to try to move on with our lives, to remember the happy times with Kelly and to grieve our loss. We respectfully request that we are left to grieve in private.