MURDER detectives that snared a killer who stabbed his ex-girlfriend through the neck have been presented with awards as praise for their investigation work on the harrowing case.
Eleven members of the team who brought 32-year-old Alexander Burnett to justice were commended by High Court Judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave.
And six of the officers received certificates at Derbyshire Police’s headquarters recently for their efforts on the case.
Jobless Burnett killed 52-year-old mother-of-three Lee Hendry at his home on Westlea View, Clowne, in September last year.
They had known each other more than 10 years earlier, and met again through a social networking website.
The day after the killing Burnett handed himself in to police and officers found Lee’s body in a bedroom at his home.
Lee, a care worker from Brimmington, had been reunited with Burnett during an evening at the killer’s home, after they contacted each other through Facebook.
Burnett said he stabbed Lee through the neck during a sex game that went wrong, and throughout his trial at Nottingham Crown Court in May he maintained the death had been an accident.
But the jury did not accept his version of events and he was convicted of her murder and jailed for life, with a minimum term of 22 years.
Sentencing him at the end of the trial, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said the case was ‘characterised by a manifest, deliberate and chilling intent to kill’.
“Lee Hendry’s untimely death and the manner of it has deeply affected the family,” he added.
“Their sentence will be a life sentence of loss.”
The judge praised Derbyshire Police’s handling of the case in his remarks at the time.
Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Cathcart, one of the officers to receive an award, said: “The minimum tariff of 22 years reflects the gravity of his actions and there is no doubt that an extremely dangerous man has been removed from our community.”
Det Ch Insp Gary Cathcart, Detective Inspector Andrew Jones, Detective Constable John Kelly, retired Detective Constable John Flint, crime scene manager Sarah Allen and major crime unity investigator Kathryn Way accepted their awards from the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Alan Woods.