March 06,

A LONDON fitness instructor has been jailed for life after he went on a first date armed with a carving knife and murdered a businesswoman by stabbing her more than 30 times.

Karl Taylor, 27, was told by Old Bailey judge Giles Forrester that he would not be eligible for parole for at least 30 years for Kate Beagley's brutal murder.

The 32-year-old, of Walton-on-Thames, was stabbed in the face and neck during her date with Taylor, the court was told.

The British Gas sales manager's naked body was found in stinging nettles near Watford, Hertfordshire, almost a week after she was reported missing by her father.

Taylor, of Covent Garden, central London, had told police he had only meant to steal the woman's car after they argued during their date.

He had denied murder, telling the jury that it was Beagley who repeatedly stabbed herself in the face and neck in front of him after revealing she was having personal problems.

Beagley's corpse was so badly decomposed, because of the hot summer weather, she could only be identified by DNA testing.

Prosecutors said Taylor, who also worked as a football coach, met his victim in the CC Club at the Trocadero in Piccadilly, central London, on May 20 2007.

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photo: Victim ... Kate Beagley was stabbed more than 30 times on a first date that led to her brutal murder (Reuters)