The “jealous and possessive” killer of Brechin woman Neomi Smith has been jailed for at least 22 years.
Evil Keith Rizzo was sentenced via video link at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday for the brutal murder of his 23-year-old care worker girlfriend who he stabbed 32 times.
Miss Smith was also throttled and suffered multiple blunt force injuries during the attack at her flat in the Angus town on June 9 last year, launched after farmworker Rizzo had seen her dancing with another man.
Rizzo later lied that Miss Smith had been brutally set upon by two mystery attackers who she apparently owed cash to.
His QC told the court on Monday he continues to protest his innocence over having any involvement in the young woman’s death.
A jury convicted him of murder in March and Rizzo appeared for sentence via video link due to the Covid-19 situation.
Lady Rae branded the killer a “jealous and possessive young man”.
She added: “Only you can reveal the precise series of events.
“What is now known is that you carried out a savage, vicious and prolonged attack on a defenceless young woman in the kitchen of the flat you shared with her.”
The judge said “what a price” Miss Smith had paid for earlier trying to “enjoy herself” at the pub.
Lady Rae went on to describe Rizzo’s lies as a “most fanciful account”.
She told him: “All of this showed a callous attitude of someone who has done his utmost to avoid taking responsibility for this brutal crime.”
Jurors heard the couple had got together earlier in 2019.
Rizzo – who already had a domestic abuse conviction in connection with an ex – was violent to his girlfriend shortly into the relationship and the trial heard of another attack by him on Miss Smith weeks before the fatal crime.
The pair were at Brechin’s Hudson’s Bar the night before the murder, where Rizzo lost the plot and sent a table of drinks crashing.
Rizzo later claimed his lover had been “provocative” and had “embarrassed” him
Miss Smith was left in tears and was heard stating: “This is what I have to put up with.”
Rizzo booted his way into the town centre flat before carrying out the horrific killing.
He choked Miss Smith and used two knives to stab her her 32 times.
Rizzo soon spun a web of lies to cover up what happened.
He first raced to Miss Smith’s neighbour claiming she had been arguing with “someone” while he was in the shower.
A paramedic said the scene in the flat was “like a horror movie”.
Rizzo’s mum Frances visited her son in Perth prison week later while he was on remand and he gave a bizarre account of how two men took turns to stab Miss Smith after the couple returned home.
Rizzo said he had pleaded with the pair to empty his bank account if they were owed money.
The trial, heard, however there was no sign on CCTV of the so-called attackers.
Donald Findlay QC, defending, told the court at sentencing: “He does not accept playing any part in the death of this young lady.”