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Why did Michael Moffat kill Penny Beale and is he still in prison?

A horrendous crime...

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Countdown to Murder on Channel 5 explores the murder of Penny Beale by Michael Moffat, who is. currently in prison.

Tonight’s episode explores her tragic demise, and Michael’s attempt to cover his tracks.

But how did she die? And why did he kill his girlfriend?

Below we explore the case and where Michael is today…

How did Michael Moffat kill Penny Beale?

On November 25, Michael Moffat murdered Penny Beale.

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He kicked and stomped on his girlfriend to death.

The unemployed craftsman, then 49, killed Penny, 31, in her basement flat.

penny beale mum
Penny’s mum, also called Penny, speaking to BBC News (Credit: BBC)

She had just returned from a drinking session at a pub called The Smugglers.

Witnesses said she had been extremely drunk and been seen stumbling.

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After Michael murdered her, he went to The Smugglers with a friend.

He left her body covered in a duvet at her home.

Why did he kill her?

Penny’s mum claimed that their eighteen month relationship had been engulfed in alcohol and drug abuse.

She also said she suspected Michael had been violent towards her daughter many times before.

The exact reason for Michael killing his girlfriend remains unknown.

matthew and penny
Michael and Penny together (Credit: BBC)

However, his defence lawyer made the argument that he was provoked.

He claimed she had taunted him over an ex and that he had later shown remorse.

How did he try to defend himself?

After Michael returned from the pub that evening, he called the police.

He said he had no idea how she became hurt when they arrived.

He even said he believed she would be alright, despite her clearly being dead.

Prosecuting David Fisher, QC, said: “Mr Moffat told the operator Penny Beale would not wake up, that she was unconscious, cold and had no pulse. He appeared off-hand and disinterested.

“Mr Moffat appeared not to be upset and said ‘She’s going to be all right’.

penny as a child
Penny as a young girl (Credit: BBC)

“The paramedics asked him what had happened and he said he had come back from the shop and simply found her.”

Initially police wondered if the death was an accidental drug overdose.

Traces of cannabis and ecstasy were found in Penny’s system.

But her internal injuries suggested a physical attack.

Michael was arrested on November 28 and charged with murder.

He was later given a life sentence.

Upon his sentence deliverance, Judge Mr Justice Wright said: “When she got drunk it should have been for you to look after her so she came to no harm.

“But you didn’t. You launched a most appalling attack using fists and feet – an attack lasting many minutes.”

Is Michael Moffat still in prison?

Michael is believed to still be in prison

When is the Michael Moffat Countdown to Murder episode on?

It is on Channel 5 on Thursday at 9pm.

Past episodes are available to stream on My5.

Will you be watching? Let us know on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.