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Man given life for murdering partner 20 years after killing another partner

News, Violent crime

A man has today been given a life sentence for the murder of his partner, more than 20 years after he was convicted for the manslaughter of a previous partner.

Paul Plunkett, 62, was found guilty in 1996 of killing Jacqueline Aspery and today pleaded guilty to the unrelated murder of Barbara Davison, 66, during an argument at their home on 15 August last year.

He initially claimed that he did not mean to kill Ms Davison but was only trying to silence her during an argument. On the first day of his trial at Teesside Crown Court he changed his plea and accepted he had murdered her.

Both women died in similar circumstances.

Plunkett was ordered to serve at least 23 years in prison.

Emma Dowling from the CPS said:

“During an argument at their home last summer Paul Plunkett smothered his partner Barbara Davison to death by forcing his hands over her mouth and nose.

“Plunkett has a number of historic convictions for violence against women, including the manslaughter of a previous partner, Jacqueline Aspery, in 1996. In that case, Plunkett had applied so much pressure to Jacqueline’s throat that he fractured the cartilage around her larynx.

“Given the similarities between the death of Barbara Davison and the manslaughter of Jacqueline Aspery, the CPS made an application for his previous convictions to be revealed to the jury. Given the strength of the case against him, it is unsurprising that Plunkett has pleaded guilty to murder on the first day of this trial.

“I would hope that the significant sentence he has received today provides a measure of comfort to the family of Barbara Davison, at what must be a very difficult time for them.”

Notes to editors

  • Paul Plunkett (DOB 24/11/1956) of Station Road, Redcar was convicted of the manslaughter of Jacqueline Aspery on 13/05/1996.
  • Emma Dowling is a Crown Advocate at CPS North East.
     

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