A Swindon man has been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 17 and a half years to serve, after pleading guilty to the murder of Andraya Lyons (nee Webb) from Swindon.
Anthony Porter, aged 32, from Drew Street, Swindon appeared at Bristol Crown Court today (Thursday 11 May 2017).
At approximately 5.40am on Saturday 10 December 2016 emergency services were called to a fire at a house on Drew Street, Swindon. Andraya’s body was discovered in the property.
Detective Chief Inspector Jeremy Carter of the Brunel Major Crime Investigation Team said: “This was a vicious attack on a mum-of-two in her own home.
“Andraya was savagely beaten by Anthony Porter who then set fire to the house.
“Porter is an extremely violent individual who has shown no remorse for his actions and as a result, Andraya’s children and family have been left without a mother, daughter, sister and aunty.
“This horrific crime has understandably also affected those living in the Rodbourne area, as well as the wider Swindon community; I would like to take this opportunity to thank those local people who have helped the police during this investigation to ensure the family of Andraya see justice done.
“I would also like to thank my staff and colleagues within the Crown Prosecution Service – who have worked tirelessly to bring this difficult investigation to a successful conclusion.
“Finally, I would like to say that our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Andraya at this difficult time.”
The family of Andraya have released the following statement:
“Following the events which took place in the early hours of Saturday 10 December 2016, when Andraya was tragically and unnecessarily taken from the lives of those that knew and loved her, we have now been able to close another chapter of this truly horrendous and traumatic situation.
“Andraya was a generous, fun-loving, bubbly, caring person who saw the good in everyone. She was not only a much loved daughter, sister, niece, aunty and friend but also a mother to two young boys who are now left to grow up without her love.
“We miss her so much and all our lives have been completely devastated by the act of one evil, vicious, selfish, manipulative and cowardly individual.
“We will never get over the circumstances surrounding the death of Andraya or accept any remorse for what he has done and put our family through. We can only hope that, in time, we will be able to start rebuilding our lives while we cherish the happy times and memories.
“We would like to thank all those involved in this case and the support we have received during this difficult time. This has helped to restore our faith in mankind; we have been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity with their donations to help the boys.
“The way the specialist teams have professionally conducted the investigation, thoroughly gathering evidence and reporting this information, has been exceptional and we must give special thanks to the Family Liaison Team for their outstanding support throughout.
“We as a family would also like to take this opportunity to reach out to anyone that may be experiencing domestic abuse or anyone that may have knowledge or witnessed someone that is going through similar abuse. There is support available; please do not suffer in silence and please find the strength to seek help. Had we have known the type of relationship Andraya was experiencing then this terrible situation may have been avoided. If, after hearing this statement, one person can leave a violent relationship – then at least something has come out of this dreadful nightmare we are going through.
“We would like to thank you for respecting our privacy over the last 5 months and would ask for this to continue to allow us to grieve as a family.”