Deanha Neely found guilty of manslaughter of Derek Taylor


Deanha Neely has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Derek Taylor at Preston Crown Court today. She was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Deanha Neely killed Derek Taylor in an industrial unit in Blackburn on 2 January by attacking him with a hammer and an axe.  He sustained severe head injuries which caused his death.  His body was found by police on 18 January after a member of his family contacted the police concerned that they couldn't contact him.

Deanha Neely and Derek Taylor had lived together in a motorhome which was parked inside an industrial unit at Cross Fold in Blackburn.  The court heard that Deanha Neely was a drug user.  Derek Taylor would purchase her drugs for her and provide them to her so as to ration the amount of drugs she was taking.  

Deanha Neely was aware that Derek Taylor had received about £45,000 in October.  Within hours of killing him she was trying to access his bank account and over a period of several days transferred £7,500 into her own bank account.  Shortly after she killed him she posted a message, purporting to come from him, on his Facebook account to say that he was going away on holiday. She continued to post messages and send texts from his mobile phone sim card to give the impression to friends and family that he was still alive.

Following the verdict Sarah Gallagher from the CPS said: "Deanha Neely killed Derek Taylor in a brutal assault and left his body where she had killed him in the industrial unit until it was discovered over two weeks later.  She set out to cover up what she had done and to deceive people who knew and cared about him into thinking he was still alive, so that she could steal from his bank account and go on a spending spree with his money. 

"By piecing together the many strands of evidence in this case the CPS has presented a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding Derek Taylor's death to the court.  Deanha Neely admitted killing him but said that she did so when she had a loss of control, and after listening to all the evidence throughout the trial, the jury have found her not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family of Derek Taylor."

Note to editors:

Sarah Gallagher is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West