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Triple killer murdered ex-girlfriend with claw hammer 

Theodore Johnson threw himself in front of a train after the fatal attack but survived.

Theodore Johnson had a history of violence against women.
Theodore Johnson had a history of violence against women. Metropolitan Police

A violent serial killer is facing life behind bars after he admitted beating a former girlfriend over the head with a claw hammer and strangling her with a dressing gown cord.

Theodore Johnson, 64, attacked mother-of-four and grandmother Angela Best on December 15, 2016 after they broke up and she began a new relationship.

Hours after killing her, he drove to Cheshunt railway station in Hertfordshire and threw himself in front of an express train.

He survived the incident but sustained horrific injuries including a severed right arm and left hand.

Police discovered 51-year-old Ms Best's body in the living room at his Islington home with a belt wrapped around her neck and a blood-stained claw hammer nearby.

A post-mortem examination found she had been strangled and suffered multiple blows to the head.

Johnson, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility but denied murder.

But on the first day of his Old Bailey trial on Tuesday, he admitted murder.

Johnson had a history of violence towards women, having been twice convicted of the manslaughter of two former partners.

In November 1981, the garage worker was convicted by a jury at Stafford Crown Court of killing his wife, Yvonne Johnson.

He hit the mother-of-two with a vase before pushing her over the balcony of their ninth-floor flat in Wolverhampton.

Then, in March 1993, he was convicted of killing his partner Yvonne Bennett, by diminished responsibility.

The couple, who had a daughter together, had moved from Wolverhampton to Finsbury Park in London, where Johnson strangled Ms Bennett with a belt following an alleged affair with another man.

On his release from a psychiatric unit, Johnson met Ms Best in 1995 after she moved to Tottenham from Manchester with her children.

After Johnson changed his plea, Judge Richard Marks QC remanded him into custody to be sentenced on Friday.

Detective Sergeant Danny Yeoman, of Scotland Yard, said: "This was a vicious attack and I hope the conviction gives Angela's family some measure of comfort and closure."

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