An nasty monster who murdered and raped a vulnerable lady has been sentenced to life in prison.
Joe Rankin murdered Emma Potter, 40, at her home in Stroud, Gloucestershire, then raped her body and left it there for six weeks. The 34-year-old’s acts were described as “an act of gross desecration and insult,” and he was only rumbled after telling a friend about it. His friend then immediately contacted the police.
After being detained, Rankin told a psychiatrist that he went to Emma’s flat on September 20, last year, with the intent of killing her. He also claimed to have had intercourse with her dead body after that.
Judge Peter Blair, Recorder for Bristol, sentenced Rankin to life in prison and ordered that he serve 24 years before being considered for release on parole. Prosecutor Christopher Quinlan KC told the court that after Emma was repeatedly stabbed by Rankin, her body lay unnoticed in her flat until it was discovered by police on November 4th.
Six days later, Rankin confessed to his friend, Joshua Tucker-Bradshaw, who then alerted the police. Officers were able to locate Rankin, of Stroud, at the scene of Emma’s death using his mobile phone.
Rankin was also seen on CCTV coming to Emma’s flat eight days later, on September 28. Police have never determined why he did this, but they assume he was attempting to conceal evidence.
Rankin’s solicitor, David Aubrey, stated in mitigation that Rankin had a history of mental health concerns and drug addiction. Jenny, Emma’s adopted mother, made a victim impact statement during the sentencing today, outlining the effects the murder had on her family.
She said: “How do we parents bear it, we who had cherished her as a beautiful baby? How can her murderer live with the knowledge of what he has done to a fellow human being? Did she try to escape those thrusts and stabs? Or did an early blow silence her quickly and forever? We will never know but these images will stay with us always.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Adam Stacey, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, paid tribute to Emma’s family.
He said: “I want to thank them for the poise and dignity they have shown throughout this case. This was a horrific murder and they have displayed incredible bravery. I know this sentence will bring a sense of comfort for them as their daughter’s killer faces a long stay in prison.”