Nephew sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his aunt

13/05/2016

A nephew who killed his aunt in her own home has today been sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of nine years, at Birmingham Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to her manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

On 5 June 2015, Anne Dunkley invited 25-year-old Gareth Emery to her home in order for him to do some work for her friend.

The defendant then left the victim's home, but returned a few hours later when he attacked his aunt. The victim's son tried to intervene, but he was also attacked by Emery.

Paramedics and the police were called to the scene of the attack. The victim was taken to hospital where she succumbed to her head injuries.

While the police were at the victim's home, the defendant was identified by witnesses and he was subsequently arrested by officers.

Following his arrest, medical expert reports all agreed that the defendant suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, which resulted in his plea for manslaughter being accepted. He also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Heath Westerman, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Anne Dunkley was trying to help her nephew, however, in return for her kindness, Gareth Emery carried out a senseless and brutal attack on his elderly aunt. The motive behind this attack is still unclear.

"The defendant used his hands and feet, as well as a shovel, to inflict serious injuries to the victim's head from which she would die later in hospital. As the victim's son tried to stop the attack, he was also set upon by Emery and assaulted.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mrs Dunkley."