Carol McDonald said she gave her boy friend Bruce Santus an ultimatum – to choose between her and Tracey Illman, the mother of his four-month-old son. Carol went with him to the bedsit in London’s Old Kent Road where he lived with Tracey. They were expecting a confrontation, and when it came, so she said, Santus lost control and stabbed Tracey to death.

Santus said none of this was true – at the time of the crime on Good Friday, March 24th, 1989, he was at the Chelsea Hotel in Knightsbridge, where he worked as a porter.

Tracey’s body was found by Santus that evening. He was said to have told police that he killed her, but in evidence at his trial he denied making that admission. He was convicted by a majority of 10 to two and sentenced to life. Carol McDonald was jailed for four years for her part in the affair.

But in May, 1991, the Appeal Court took the view that the convictions were unsafe. The alibi of Santus, the court decided, was very strong, and there was no independent evidence that he had any great depth of feeling for McDonald. The convictions were quashed. UK Murder Stories from True Crime Library.

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