first UK woman ever on TV trial

Woman who tried faking her murder victim’s will sentenced to life in prison

Murderer sentenced to 34 years after becoming first UK woman ever on TV trial

The self-styled healer became the first woman to be sentenced on UK television after she brutally murdered her friend in an attempt to fake her will and inherit her valuable estate.

Jemma Mitchell killed 67-year-old Mee Kuen Chong by hitting her over the head with a weapon, before then decapitating her and putting her inside a suitcase.

The murder took place in June 2021 at her London home after a dispute over money after the prosecution claimed the 38-year-old had planned to murder the vulnerable victim and then fake her will in order to leave herself the entire estate, worth an estimated £700,000.

Mitchell then attempted to hide the remains by driving to Devon and leaving the body and decapitated head in the woods.

Judge Richard Marks KC said the evidence was “overwhelming” and then told Mitchell on live television:

“I have no doubt whatsoever that this was a undergone for gain. There is the chilling aspect to what you did to and with her body after you killed her.

You have shown no remorse and appear to be in complete denial at what you did.

The enormity of your crime is profoundly shocking.

The sentence of the court is life imprisonment and the minimum will be 34 years.”

Jemma Mitchell’s mother, Hillary Collard, protested her daughter’s innocence despite the evidence as she stated outside of court:

“As far as I’m concerned she did not do it. She’s innocent. There’s absolutely no question about it and I know she would not do such a thing. I’m absolutely baffled.

I’m absolutely agog. There was no DNA on the body. If she had murdered the lady, at our house there would be blood and other things but there was nothing.

She offered me to go to Salcombe with her. If she had a dead body in the back she would not have asked me to go with her, would she?”

Mee Kuen Chong’s sister, Amy Chong, gave a victim impact statement as she said:

“Deborah’s death was a shock to us all.

It was difficult to comprehend how it could have happened to her, although we are not close due to certain differences of opinion with regard to religion.

It saddens me she had to go through such a horrifying ordeal and tragic death.”

Read more stories

Join over 6,000 wills and probate practitioners – Check back daily for all the latest news, views, insights and best practice and sign up to our e-newsletter to receive our weekly round up every Friday morning. 

You’ll receive the latest updates, analysis, and best practice straight to your inbox.

Features