Thu. Apr 18th, 2024
alert-–-cold-blooded-killer,-36,-who-murdered-16-year-old-girl-and-dumped-her-body-in-woodland-dies-in-car-crash,-inquest-toldAlert – Cold-blooded killer, 36, who murdered 16-year-old girl and dumped her body in woodland dies in car crash, inquest told

A killer who murdered a teenage girl and dumped her body in woodland has died in a car crash, an inquest was told. 

Thomas Purcell, 36, was convicted of murdering 16-year-old Megan McAlorum in 2006, after she suffered 54 fractures to her skull in the attack after Purcell gave her a lift from a takeaway shops in Belfast.

Purcell served his time and was released from prison in 2021 before returning to live in Oxford.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter heard Purcell was driving a car on March 4 in Burford, between Oxford and Cheltenham, when his vehicle was involved in a collision with a van. 

Purcell suffered catastrophic head injuries in the impact. The driver of the van was also badly injured but is recovering.

Thomas Purcell (pictured) was convicted of murdering 16-year-old Megan McAlorum in 2006

Thomas Purcell (pictured) was convicted of murdering 16-year-old Megan McAlorum in 2006

Megan McAlorum, 16, (pictured) suffered 54 fractures to her skull in the attack

Megan McAlorum, 16, (pictured) suffered 54 fractures to her skull in the attack

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter heard Purcell was driving a car on March 4 in Burford, between Oxford and Cheltenham, when his vehicle was involved in a collision with a van (pictured)

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter heard Purcell was driving a car on March 4 in Burford, between Oxford and Cheltenham, when his vehicle was involved in a collision with a van (pictured)

The inquest opening in Oxford heard that Purcell, who was unemployed at the time of his death, died from a traumatic brain injury.

The killer, of Furlong Close, Oxford, was identified to hospital staff by his brother Philip.

Purcell, who was 16-years-old at the time of the murder, was sentenced for 15 years imprisonment. He was released from prison in 2021.

Miss McAlorum was murdered by Purcell on Easter Sunday 2004 after he offered her a lift while she was walking home from a takeaway.

Her body was later found in a wooded area on the outskirts of west Belfast, with injuries including 54 fractures to her skull.

Purcell had previous convictions dating back to 2000 when he made a series of appearances at Oxford Youth Court.

A full inquest will take place in September.