Reservoir Dogs inspired murderer jailed for life after woman died 21 years later from injuries
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A man has been sentenced to life in prison for a second time after being convicted of murdering his partner, who he set on fire over 20 years ago.
In April 1998, Steven Craig, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, inflicted horrific injuries on his then girlfriend Jackie Kirk, setting her alight in a car park.
The 58-year-old is said to have been obsessed with the Quentin Tarantino movie Reservoir Dogs, in which Michael Madsen's character tortures a police officer.
Craig was later convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to the attack on the mother-of-two, and handed a life sentence with a minimum term of nine years for that and two other offences.
He served almost two decades in prison before he was arrested again in June 2021, this time for murder, after Ms Kirk sadly died at the age of 61 in August 2019.
She had fallen ill, suffering from intestinal swelling for an unknown reason and scarring to her chest, and was taken to Royal United Hospital in Bath.
However, due to her frailty, doctors were unable to operate, and she died.
Following a trial at Bristol Crown Court, Craig was convicted of murder, with a jury finding the injuries caused by him, which included burns to 35 percent of Ms Kirk’s body, were linked to her dying from a ruptured diaphragm.
Prosecuting, Richard Smith KC said: "The defendant had repeatedly watched a scene from a film which appears to be the film Reservoir Dogs in which a man was tortured on a chair before being set alight.
"Jackie recalled the grin on this defendant’s face as he watched that film. Jackie considered this defendant to have a fixation with fire."
Mr Smith said Craig told Ms Kirk they were going to Plymouth in her car as he had arranged a gangster to kill her.
However, during the journey, they stopped off at a petrol station and Craig filled a Coke bottle with petrol.
He then parked the car in Weston-super-Mare, where he assaulted Ms Kirk and burnt her alive.
A passer-by contacted police, and paramedics soon attended, with Ms Kirk 'severely burnt and in agony'.
Craig was sentenced to life in prison, with him set to serve a further 15 years behind bars on top of the 19 he has already served.
Speaking during the hearing, Mrs Justice Stacey said: "Your conduct was sadistic from the build up to the attack.
“Your attack was planned and pre-meditated. Deliberately causing really serious injury by fire is likely to involve agony to the victim.
“It was just so callous and so brutal. Such cruel behaviour, so lacking in humanity.”
Adding: "Your murder of Jackie justifies the total minimum term of imprisonment of 34 years but because you have already served nearly 19 years for causing the grievous bodily harm she so bravely ensured, the term I impose is 15 years and five days, that would bring the balance to 34 years."
The judge paid tribute to Ms Kirk’s bravery and determination following the attack, which left her in hospital for nine months and requiring 14 operations including a tracheotomy and skin grafts.