A man has today (23 July) been jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder of Corfe Castle mum-of-four Samantha Henderson.
Dominic Isom, 28, was convicted of killing the 25-year-old by a jury following a seven day trial at Winchester Crown Court.
He was handed life imprisonment and was told he would have to serve a minimum of 17 years before being considered for parole.
The court heard that Samantha was reported missing by boyfriend Isom on the morning of 22 January 2015 sparking a major search. He told police she had walked out of the house at around 4.30pm the previous day wearing his slippers.
Isom told officers her disappearance was completely out of character and they were planning on starting a new life in Exeter the following month.
The jury were told that by the time Isom had reported Samantha missing she had already died.
Isom killed Samantha in the shed outside their home sometime between 3.15pm and 3.52pm on 21 January 2015 before wrapping her body in a plastic sheet and children’s duvet.
That evening he drove her body to Hamworthy Lake and claims to have carried it into the water, wading in with it and then attaching two large stone slabs to weigh it down.
The court heard that Isom tried to cover his tracks by leaving voicemail messages on her phone, sending her numerous text messages and pleading with her to come home on WhatsApp.
Her diminutive body was discovered still wrapped in the plastic sheet and duvet by police dogs and divers on the lake bed in Hamworthy on 30 January 2015 – nine days after she disappeared. Also with her body were some of Isom’s clothes and slippers and Samantha’s mobile phone.
The court heard Samantha had sustained 23 injuries and some of the numerous injuries to her head and neck were caused by severe blunt force.
When giving evidence Isom admitted that he had lied to the police, family members and friends and finally admitted that he had caused the injuries from which Samantha died. However, he claimed he never intended to hurt her, to cause her any serious harm or kill her.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Isom carried out a violent and sustained attack on Samantha and then went to great lengths to hide the crime. He lied to police about Samantha going missing and even gave the impression he was concerned for her by sending messages to her phone pleading for her to return home.
“Isom’s brutal actions that day robbed her four young children – aged seven, five, two and one – of their caring and loving mother.
“Samantha’s family and friends have been left devastated by her tragic death and I hope today’s conviction will in time bring some small comfort that justice has been served.
“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
Janelle and Richard Henderson, on behalf of Sam’s family, said: “Although justice has been served today nothing will bring Sam – our caring, fun and vibrant daughter – back after we were cruelly robbed of her in January this year.
“We would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts the communities of Corfe Castle and Poole for helping in the search for Sam and the support they have given us.
“We also wish to thank the police investigation team, family liaison officers, victim support and all who have helped in the conviction of Mr Isom and for the support they have tirelessly provided.”