Double murderer Sean Heiss has been sentenced at the Old Bailey for murdering his mother at her Kingston home and leaving a cryptic note seemingly admitting to the crime and asking for "hard labour" as punishment.

The 30-year-old, of no fixed abode, killed Margaret Sheehy after she returned home from doing her shopping in 2012. After fleeing the UK in the wake of the murder, Heiss made or attempted to make cash withdrawals using his mother's bank card in Paris and San Sebastian, northern Spain.

In September 2014, he was sentenced to 22 years for the murder in Barcelona of Clementina Josefina Nauta Liscano, committed in October 2012.

He will serve a minimum of 30 years for the murder of Sheehy after he was returned to the UK in January to stand trial.


Sheehy, 58, was heard screaming by neighbours and colleagues became worried when she failed to turn up to work the next day as she was rarely late or took time off.

Two colleagues sent text messages but failed to get a response.

Concerned for her welfare, her colleagues attended her home in Springfield Road, Kingston, at lunchtime where they could see that the TV was on.

However, there was no response from anyone inside the property and the two women called the police, who also failed to get a response. They left a note asking Sheehy to contact the police.

"Hard labour"

Still worried about their friend, the two women called police again at 5pm and this time officers forced entry to the flat.

Inside they found her lifeless body lying on the sofa next to a handwritten note which in part read:

"MURDER - Life sentence hard labour. If convicted, tagged and released into general population for 30 days..."

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of Sheehy's death as asphyxiation.

Detective chief inspector Diane Tudway, of the Met's homicide and major crime command, said:

"Heiss murdered the person who supported and cared for him and evaded justice for three years by leaving the UK. This conviction shows the continuing commitment of the police to bringing offenders to justice who have fled the country.

"Our thoughts are with Ms Sheehy's family and friends at this time."