Married Nigerian churchgoer, 40, is jailed for life for murdering midwifery student

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Mr Israel, a 40yrs old man whose birth name is Ajibola Shogbamimu, originally from Nigeria has been jailed for life for murdering midwifery student, 20, whose body has never been found after she disappeared following a Boxing Day service.

Joy Morgan,20yrs midwifery student

According to the Daily Mail ,after killing Ms Morgan he attempted to cover his tracks by removing her number from a church Telegram group chat, the court heard, and even kept up the lie by going to her student house share under the guise of checking on her in the days after she apparently went missing. 

From the witness box he told the jury that Ms Morgan – who he denied having sex with, claiming he saw her as a daughter – had told him she wanted to leave the church.

But fellow worshippers told the court they were shocked by the idea that she might quit the church so suddenly, saying she had found the ‘familial love’ there that she had been craving.

A video taken less than two weeks before she went missing saw her describe the church as ‘the best family that I’ve ever had’.

Despite church members saying they were surprised at her apparent departure, they did not report her missing. It was her mother Carol Morgan, who is not a member of the church, who reported her disappearance to police on February 7, six weeks after she was last seen.

In a message sent in March last year Israel told Ms Morgan she was an ‘amazing princess’ and ‘a treasure that cannot be measured’.

The jury was not told about flirtatious exchanges Israel allegedly had with other women both before and after the student went missing.

Despite the image he presented of being an upstanding married member of the church he had in fact been using chat up manuals, in some cases quoting directly from them, during his exchanges with the women concerned.

Israel is originally from Nigeria but has lived in the UK for 22 years.

The court heard that Ms Morgan had a difficult family background and had been reported missing previously in 2013 and 2014, but only for a day on each of the two occasions.

Relatives, including her mother, were in court throughout the four-week trial.

A victim impact statement read on behalf of Ms Morgan’s mother Carol described her as ‘my shining light and my superstar’.

Ms Morgan was described as a ‘natural’ who would have been ‘an amazing midwife’.

It added: ‘She was such a wonderful person, selfless, caring, loved by so many.

‘She would always look after me when I came home after a long shift, cooking lovely home-cooked meals.’

Israel, wearing spectacles and a navy three-piece suit, expressed no emotion as the statement was read by prosecutor Peter Shaw.

He will be sentenced at 3pm by judge Michael Soole.  

Ms Morgan, who was in her second year at the University of Hertfordshire, was last seen at the church on December 26.

Ms Morgan ‘did not have the easiest relationship’ with her family and the church, which she joined in January 2016, had become ‘the centrepiece of her personal life’, the court heard. 

Israel, whose birth name is Ajibola Shogbamimu, attended the same church with his wife.

The couple, who had addresses in both Cricklewood and Luton, had befriended Ms Morgan and would give her lifts between her student accommodation in Hatfield and the church in Israel’s Honda car.

Phone messages between Israel and Ms Morgan revealed she referred to him as a father figure, jurors were told.

One message sent in January 2018 read: ‘I really do appreciate how you treat me like a daughter. From the beginning I have struggled with not have a father in this truth because I came in soo young. I understand i have spiritual fathers but you treat me like i am your blood daughter (sic).’

Opening the case, prosecutor Mark Fenhalls QC said: ‘Her body has never been found but the Crown say that all the evidence will make you sure that she is dead and that this defendant, Mr Israel, is responsible.’  

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Eze Chucks is an experienced media practitioner. He has worked for several news organisation.He has pioneered many online news website as an editor . He holds a B.Sc Economics degree and a masters degree email:editor@compassnewspaper.com.ng