Fringe Box



How Ash Murder Victim Helped to Convict Her Jealous Killer

Published on: 30 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 30 Nov, 2023

Sara McKenzie. Jealousy was said to have been her motive for murdering Joy Boulton.

By David Reading

The killer of 59-year-old Joy Boulton from Ash was convicted of murder today (November 30) following a five-week trial at Guildford Crown Court.

The jury reached a unanimous verdict in finding 61-year-old Sara McKenzie guilty of Joy’s murder on May 11, 2023. She will be sentenced on Monday, December 4.

The murderous attack was driven by jealousy, the court heard. McKenzie, of Fairview Road, Ash, had been in a long-term relationship with Joy’s fiancé, Trevor Dibnah, and had been unable to cope when Mr Dibnah left her for Joy.

Joy’s last act as she was being bludgeoned to death at her home in Church View, Ash, was critical in helping to convict McKenzie. She managed to scratch her attacker’s face, providing DNA evidence.

Joy Boulton. Her last act condemned her killer. Her family say they are, “deeply devastated”.

McKenzie, a fan of murder mysteries, realised the police had a record of her DNA and constructed an elaborate cover-up to explain why her DNA would be found under Joy’s fingernails.

She claimed she had been the victim of a robbery earlier that day, during which the female suspect had scratched her and grabbed a handful of her hair.

McKenzie told police that she thought the woman had been after her DNA and tried to suggest that the same woman had also attacked Joy. McKenzie was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

After attacking Joy, she tried to conceal her crime, disposing of the clothing she had worn and the weapon used. She had a bath to remove any trace of blood and cleaned it up afterwards.

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

A police car at the scene of the murder in Church View, Ash, in May while the investigation was proceeding.

McKenzie showed absolutely no remorse, the court heard. She went to work as normal and even visited a 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 Joy.

The court heard how McKenzie had previously been in a long-term relationship with Mr Dibnah. She had made efforts to rekindle their relationship and accused him of breaking her heart, but he told her that he was not going to leave Joy.

Unable to cope, McKenzie went to Joy’s house with the sole intention of killing her, striking her 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 McKenzie’s face.

Her body was found by her fiancé when he returned from work that evening.

Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey, from the Surrey and Sussex Police Major Crime Team, said: “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 Dibnah’s belongings after finding out he had got engaged to Joy.

“McKenzie went to Joy’s 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.”

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.”

Rebecca Millardship, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was a ferocious and focused attack, which continued even once the victim was lying on the floor.

 “We were able to demonstrate to the jury that there was a pattern of behaviour leading up to the murder, with Joy confiding in friends about the abuse she had suffered previously from the defendant.

 “We hope that this verdict brings some small comfort to Joy’s family.”


Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *