Tragic EastEnders star Sandy Ratcliff’s last public appearance was giving evidence at the Old Bailey for her boyfriend in his murder trial.
The reclusive Sue Osman actress, who has died at the age of 70, she told the Old Bailey she’d been making love to her then-boyfriend Michael Shorey when he carried out a heinous double murder in 1990.
But the jury found him guilty and he was handed a double life sentence.
In one of her final ever public appearances, Sandy stood up in court at the Old Bailey to provide Shorey with an alibi.
In July 1990, Shorey had been living in a basement flat in Grenville Road with his ex-girlfriend Elaine Forsyth and her friend Patricia Morrison.
He argued with Elaine and she threw him out.
Neighbours later reported hearing noises, but did nothing as they assumed the two girls were having an argument.
Shorey had strangled Elaine with a handbag strap and lay in wait for Patricia to come home, and strangled her with a curtain tie.
The killer removed the bloodstained carpet from the flat by wrapping it in plastic and delivering it to a friend to look after for him.
He put the two girls into a stolen Toyota Corolla, positioning them propped up, with one in the front passenger seat and one in the back, and drove to Spears Road, Holloway, where he abandoned the car.
Around 36 hours later, a passer-by notified police of the suspicious car and the bodies were discovered.
When the friend with the carpet heard the news, he called police who identified the blood and arrested Shorey.
They discovered the girls’ blood on a pair of his trainers.
But he had an alibi.
Shorey claimed he couldn’t have possibly committed the murders as he was in bed with his new girlfriend Sandy at her home at the time.
She later corroborated his story, saying under oath that they were making love at the time the murders took place.
He was found guilty and handed two life sentences.
In 1993, Shorey appealed to the high court against his sentence. It was denied.
He remains behind bars.
The court case was one of the last times Sandy was seen in public.
She used heroin and largely disappeared from the public eye.
In 2005, it was reported that she’d kicked her drug habit and was living on a £70 a week disability allowance.
Sandy played Sue Osman on the BBC soap from 1985 to 1989.
Last night, it was reported that she had passed away in a care home in Stamford Hill, North London.
She’s thought to have died overnight on Saturday, with her body being discovered on Sunday morning.
The actress battled drugs and booze during her life and trained as a counsellor after beating her heroin addiction.
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