Triple killer who went on rampage and raped pregnant woman will die in prison

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A man who brutally killed a pregnant woman as well as a mother and son in just six days will spend the rest of his life in prison after he was handed a rare whole life order.

Anthony Russell, 39, previously pleaded guilty to killing David Williams, 32, on October 21, 2020, in a flat in Coventry.

He also admitted to killing Mr Williams' mother Julie Williams, 58, four days later on October 25 in a separate flat in the city.

Russell then raped and killed Nicole McGregor, 31, the day after, and her body was discovered dumped in woodland near Leamington Spa.

Russell pleaded guilty to that murder and at a retrial yesterday at Warwick Crown Court he was unanimously found guilty of the rape after less than 90 minutes of deliberations by the jury.

Sentencing today, Mr Justice Wall explained that whole life orders are reserved for “exceptionally serious” cases in which they were required as just punishment.

The judge told Russell in his absence: “This is one of those cases deserving of a whole life order.

“You will remain in custody for the rest or your life and will never be eligible to apply to the Parole Board for your release.

“You are a man prepared to use very significant violence on anyone.

“You are exceptionally dangerous to those who know you, and those who do not.”

Ms McGregor was five months pregnant and had shown Russell a picture of her baby scan before she was brutally assaulted.

Russell, a "callous and calculating" heroin user, chillingly told the expectant father "I bet you can't wait for it to be born" after he had raped and killed her.

Following yesterday's retrial, Police described Russell as "evil".

The killer strangled his first victim, Mr Williams, with a lanyard and left the body under his bed, and he was found by police five days later covered in 87 injuries.

Afterwards, Russell claimed he had killed a man who "had sex with his girlfriend".

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Russell's attack on Mr Williams' mother was described as "violent and sustained".

The killer strangled her, also hitting her five times on the head and neck according to prosecutors.

She had 113 separate injuries and is believed to have been killed because she found out Russell had murdered her son.

CCTV footage played to the jury showed the third victim, Ms McGregor, and Russell walking together in Leamington Spa at 7.45pm on October 26.

During her opening speech, prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC said of the video: "This is the last time Nicole is seen alive. Just three hours after meeting the defendant it appears that Nicole has agreed to walk with the defendant into Newbold Comyn.

"We suggest that the defendant lured Nicole on to the Comyn, not for sex but more likely for drugs. The defendant murdered Nicole McGregor shortly after that image was captured, just hours after they had met."

After the murder, Russell pretended to help Ms McGregor's partner look for her. The killer was eventually the subject of a national manhunt and fled Leamington by stealing a 78-year-old man's car.

Russell rang the pensioner's doorbell asking for directions and when the victim was distracted he hit him over the head from behind with a brick, leaving him with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

The killer was arrested on October 30 after police spotted the stolen Ford C-Max parked on a road near Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, and found Russell on the back seat.

While being booked into custody he told officers: "I admit it, I did it."

Today during sentencing the judge told the court: “None of these crimes was random or motiveless.

“I have no doubt that this is a case which falls fairly and squarely within the description of being exceptionally serious.

“There were three murders – each was separated in time and location. Each was the result of a separate murderous act which was sustained and brutal. Each involved the use of very significant violence.”

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website,

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