East Yorkshire stable hand sentenced to life for Fiona Southwell's murder

01/02/2017

Daniel Edwards has been unanimously convicted at Hull Crown Court today of the murder of 60 year old Fiona Southwell at Grange Farm, Seaton, East Yorkshire in July 2016. He has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 24 years.

The jury heard that Edwards, 22, probably harboured a resentment against Miss Southwell, who had been employed to look after horses at Grange Farm following his own dismissal from the position due to his unreliability.

David Cammies, reviewing lawyer, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: Fiona Southwell was a quiet and gentle soul. Horses were her lifes focus and her passion. 

"On 15 July 1016, Edwards attacked Fiona at the Grange Farm stables with brutal ferocity, inflicting at least 19 stab wounds on her. Tragically, it was her brother who discovered her mutilated body later that day.

"Edwards then sought to cover up what he did, discarding the murder weapon and lying first in his police interviews and then during his trial about his movements on the day of Fionas death.

"Supported by a thorough and professional investigation by Humberside Police, using signals from Edwards  mobile phone we were able to pinpoint  his whereabouts and prove that he was lying. We also exhibited graphic messages from his Facebook account  which demonstrated his state of mind at the time of the murder. At no point was Edwards able to explain the presence of Fiona's blood on his jeans, his shoes, his tee shirt and on his own ankle.

"This was an appalling tragedy which has left Fiona's family and friends devastated by her loss.  I hope the unanimous verdict returned today, and the sentence her killer will be serving for her murder, is of some comfort. Our thoughts remain with them."