Former soldier Barach Bandavad jailed for life for murder of ex-girlfriend's step-mother Judith Ege
A FORMER soldier found guilty of murdering a woman by slashing her throat has been jailed for life.
Barach Bandavad was told he must serve a minimum of 22 years for the attack on 58-year-old Judith Ege, his ex-girlfriend's step-mother.
Mrs Ege's throat was cut from ear to ear as she struggled with Bandavad in the back of a car in Horfield.
Bandavad, 38, an Abbey Wood Ministry of Defence worker, denied murdering Mrs Ege on June 30 last year.
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But a jury of nine women and three women took three hours to unanimously find him guilty yesterday, after a two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.
Trial judge Mr Justice Lindblom told him: "What you did to Mrs Ege was the terrible outcome of a plan gone wrong. Her injuries were quite appalling. She was in the back of the car at the time, which by now had little room left on the back seat.
"You forced her in the area between the front and back seat, where you attacked her. There was a large quantity of blood, suggesting you forced her into that part of the car.
"Her injuries were horrific, her throat was cut from side to side."
Bandavad showed no emotion as he was sent down to the cells.
His victim's husband and family maintained the dignified silence which they kept throughout the trail, and for which the judge commended them.
The family did not want to make any comment after the end of the case.
During the trial, the jury heard Mrs Ege and her husband Augustine visited Bandavad's home in Highbury Road, Horfield, to collect Samantha Hines' possessions after she broke up with Bandavad.
After helping them to load a hired Vauxhall Corsa car outside the house, Bandavad asked them to drive him somewhere before revealing a gun and two knives and telling the couple: "There's a need for us all to die."
The court heard Mr Ege grabbed the car keys and fled the scene, leaving Bandavad to carry out a "murderous" attack on Mrs Ege as she struggled with him in the back of the car.
Evidence showed the murderer then smeared barbecue lighter gel around the car's fuel cap and tried but failed to torch the vehicle.
A witness described seeing a black man dump a rucksack into a bin, which was recovered and found to be stained with Mrs Ege's blood. It also contained cable ties, false moustaches, latex gloves, matches and a bottle of barbecue lighter fuel with Bandavad's finger marks on.
In the early hours of July 1, Bandavad phoned police, saying he was wanted, and turned himself in.
Interviewed after his arrest, he told police a struggle had happened in which a knife accidentally contacted Mrs Ege, and Mr Ege had then ran off.
But when presented with the opportunity to give evidence in his defence to the jury, Bandavad declined.
Richard Smith QC, defending, said: "There is no suggestion other than he has a deep understanding of the hardship he has caused to everyone in this case."
Afterwards, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp told The Post: "The verdict passed today on Barach Bandavad brings to end a lengthy investigation into a violent and unprovoked crime.
"On Saturday June 30 last year, Judith Ege went to Bandavad's address in Horfield to retrieve her step-daughter's belongings. Without warning, he violently attacked her and made off from the scene.
"This resulted in a large-scale police search to find him and the weapon he used to commit this crime.
"Despite eventually handing himself in, he continued to deny responsibility, which brought further grief to Judith's family.
"His conduct contrasts sharply with the dignity and restraint shown by Judith's family throughout these proceedings.
"The jury found him guilty of murder. The sentence rightly reflects the severity of the crime and should serve as a deterrent to anyone who might carry a knife as a weapon.
"All of us should be grateful to those residents of Horfield and the surrounding area who stepped forward to give evidence of what they saw.
"Without such people performing this duty, we would be unable to bring offenders like Bandavad to justice."