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Moment murder mystery fan smirks over death of love rival: Woman, 62, is jailed for 26 years after her DNA was found under the victim’s fingernails when she scratched her killer’s face in final brave act


A murder mystery fan who bludgeoned her love rival to death then tried to cover up the killing was filmed smirking as she lied to police about scratches she got from her victim.

Sara McKenzie, 62, attacked Joy Boulton in a jealous rage at her victim’s Surrey home, in a bid to win back her ex, and has now been sentenced to 26 years in jail.

As she bludgeoned the 59-year-old to death, her victim scratched the killer’s face in a brave final act, leaving McKenzie’s DNA under her fingernails. 

McKenzie then concocted an elaborate plan to conceal her involvement, claiming that she had been robbed by a woman in an alleyway as a way of explaining her facial injuries.

As emergency responders asked her what had happened shortly after the murder, shocking video shows her brazenly lying to them as she claims her ex-partner must have upset someone for both women to be attacked on the same day. 

Police said that despite house-to-house enquiries in the area, no evidence of a robbery was found – helping to expose McKenzie’s horrific plot. 

Joy Boulton was beaten to death by a love rival who accused her of stealing her fiancé

Joy Boulton was beaten to death by a love rival who accused her of stealing her fiancé

Sara McKenzie, of Fairview Road, Ash, Surrey, broke down in tears as she was found guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice after a five-week trial

Sara McKenzie, of Fairview Road, Ash, Surrey, broke down in tears as she was found guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice after a five-week trial

Shocking video in the aftermath of the killing shows McKenzie brazenly lying to emergency responders

Shocking video in the aftermath of the killing shows McKenzie brazenly lying to emergency responders

Guildford Crown Court heard last week how McKenzie had previously been in a long-term relationship with Ms Boulton’s fiancé, Trevor Dibnah.

McKenzie had made efforts to rekindle their relationship and accused Mr Dibnah of breaking her heart, but he told her that he was not going to leave Ms Boulton.

After the pair moved in together in October 2022, McKenzie went to their home to confront Joy. She reportedly screamed, ‘That’s my husband, that’s my man!’

Joy also believed that abusive phone calls she had received had come from McKenzie.

The day after Joy shared news of her engagement on social media in December 2022, there was a fire in the shed at McKenzie’s property, where her ex-partner’s belongings were being stored.

McKenzie is also said to have asked her ex of Joy ‘what does she have that I don’t?’ three weeks before the murder.  

In May this year, McKenzie went to the victim’s house with the sole intention of killing her, the court heard.

She struck Joy multiple times in a sustained and ferocious attack with a heavy object which left her with catastrophic head injuries which were to prove fatal.

Joy’s final act was to scratch her killer’s face, which proved critical in proving McKenzie was responsible after her DNA was discovered under the victim’s fingernails.

Trevor Dibnah had previously been in a long-term relationship with McKenzie, Guildford Crown Court heard, before she got jealous when she heard he was getting engaged to Ms Boulton

Trevor Dibnah had previously been in a long-term relationship with McKenzie, Guildford Crown Court heard, before she got jealous when she heard he was getting engaged to Ms Boulton

After attacking her rival, McKenzie tried to conceal her crime, disposing of the clothing she had worn and the weapon used. 

She also had a bath to remove any trace of blood and cleaned it up afterwards. 

Forensic scientists were able to locate traces of Ms Boulton’s blood in McKenzie’s bath using luminol, a substance that can identify a trace of blood that has been diluted 10,000 times.

McKenzie showed absolutely no remorse, went to work as normal, even visiting the petrol station to fill up her car. 

She was later captured on police body-worn footage at the scene of the murder chatting with no apparent concern for the victim.

McKenzie, of Fairview Road, Ash, Surrey, broke down in tears as she was found guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice after a five-week trial.

Ms Boulton's final brave act was to scratch her killer's face, which proved critical in proving the jealous ex was responsible after her DNA was discovered under the victim's fingernails

Ms Boulton’s final brave act was to scratch her killer’s face, which proved critical in proving the jealous ex was responsible after her DNA was discovered under the victim’s fingernails

Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey from the Surrey and Sussex Police Major Crime Team, who investigated the case, said: ‘Firstly, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Joy Boulton whose loss cannot be underestimated. They have been left devastated by Joy’s death.

‘McKenzie’s motive for killing Joy was simple – she wanted what Joy had. McKenzie has a previous history of jealous behaviour including, although it was never proved, burning down a shed containing Trevor’s belongings after finding out he had got engaged to Joy.

‘McKenzie went to Joy’s that morning with the sole intention of killing her so that she could get Trevor back. The rage and brutality McKenzie used when she attacked Joy cannot be overstated – sadly, Joy never stood a chance.’

DCI Edey added: ‘I would like to thank my team who worked tirelessly on this investigation to ensure that McKenzie was found guilty today. This level of violence simply cannot be condoned in our local communities and we will always do everything we can to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.’

Paying tribute to Joy, her family said: ‘We are deeply devastated by this senseless act of violence which has changed our lives forever.

‘Joy was a very caring person, who was always ready to help other people whenever she could despite having many health and mobility problems herself. She fought many health problems over the years but always battled on.’

They added: ‘She will be forever missed and always loved. May she rest in peace.’



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