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Marvin Samuels found guilty of murdering Watford woman, Sharlana Diedrick, in 'shocking' case
A man has been found guilty of murdering his estranged partner, who lived in Watford, just hours after brutally beating and raping another woman.
Marvin Samuels from Conduit Way in London stabbed Sharlana Diedrick, from Watford, 14 times in the chest in September last year.
He admitted to police during an interview that he had only stopped because his hand hurt.
Earlier that day he had dragged a stranger into a wooded area, before beating, raping and strangling her.
The 31-year-old was convicted of Sharlana’s murder, and for the rape of the 42-year-old woman, at the Old Bailey yesterday, and awaits sentence on October 14.
During the trial Ms Diedrick’s family watched as Mr Samuels sat in the dock making paper aeroplanes out of his legal paperwork.
He had been in a volatile on-off relationship with Ms Diedrick since 2007, who he visited at her Watford home on September 29.
She then drove him back to Wembley, but they argued in the car, partly over their young son, and he stabbed her 14 times with a kitchen knife.
He was then seen leaving the area by witnesses, who called police after becoming concerned that Ms Diedrick was no longer moving.
The police arrived at 11.10pm to reports of a seriously injured woman in a car parked in Wyborne Way, London.
The London Ambulance Service also attended and took Ms Diedrick to St Mary's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as multiple stab wounds to the chest and abdomen.
Samuels was arrested after giving himself up at Wembley Police Station the following day.
Hours before the murder took place, Samuels had raped, beaten and strangled a stranger at the Welsh Harp Reservoir area in Kilburn.
He said he had cycled to the area to "clear his head", before targeting the dog walker, dragging her deep into the woods and attacking her, beating her with a stick and a bottle and strangled with her scarf.
The victim's husband became concerned when his wife did not return home, and searched the wooded area with other family members on the morning of Sunday, September 30.
Shortly afterwards he found his wife in shock, naked and badly beaten. She had been raped and was suffering injuries including severe facial bruising, multiple cuts and a fractured finger.
The victim was taken to St Mary's Hospital for treatment and remains deeply traumatised, and has been left with lasting neurological problems from the strangulation, which cut off oxygen to her brain. DNA conclusively linked Samuels to the rape.
Samuels pleaded guilty to raping the 42-year-old woman, but he was found not guilty of her attempted murder.
In court he claimed mental health problems had led him to carry out the crimes, but this was rejected by the jury.
Investigating officer detective inspector Simon Pickford, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "This has been a shocking case. Samuels has proven himself a violent predatory rapist and a murderer.
"He targeted a woman simply walking her dog, dragged her into woods, stripped her naked and then raped and savagely beat her. She will bear the mental scars of what happened for the rest of her life. She was so traumatised she has never been able to give us a full account of what happened.
"Samuels then returned to his estranged partner, the mother of his child, and just hours later had stabbed her to death, inflicting 14 separate wounds.
"He deserves to be behind bars for many years to come and I'm pleased his claim of mental health issues was rejected by the jury."