Sunday, 31 March 2019

Another Grenfell Tower Fraudster Caged

A former Grenfell Tower resident, who cashed in on the fatal fire by claiming £47,415 in accommodation and aid has been locked-up for five years.
Moses Ettienne, 49, was housed in a comfortable hotel and received other sustenance after lying he lived in the council tower block when it was gutted by the blaze.
Isleworth Crown Court heard he had moved out years earlier and even gave a non-existent flat door number to The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea when making his bogus claim.
He also refused to give the council and police details of the flat he claimed to live in.
Ettienne said this was due to his ‘top secret’ work with foreign governments on renewable energy and that the flat may still contain these classified government files.
He even tried to claim that as a result of his government work he was afforded diplomatic immunity due to his attachment to the US Mission in Geneva.
The reality was he held no diplomatic status in the UK.
Ettienne had created two renewable energy companies with Companies House, but both were closed after a year due to lack of trading.
Evidence showed that he was in fact a second hand vintage clothes stall holder.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Mother And Son In Court For "Witch" Harassment Of Upstairs Neighbours

Leonora & Mark Joseph
Mother and son born again Christians, accused of harassing their young mum neighbour with ‘death by fire’ chants told a court they were protecting themselves against witchcraft.

Leonora Joseph, 76, and her son Mark Joseph, 56, claim their neighbour, who has a six year-old autistic child, is possessed by the devil.

The Joseph’s, of Cromwell Road, Wimbledon have both pleaded not guilty to harassing neighbour Samantha Ginsburg between August 27 and November 30, last year.

Wimbledon Magistrates Court heard they shouted and chanted: ‘death to Samantha’ and ‘death by fire’ outside the converted property despite previous police harassment warnings.

Prosecutor Mr. Thomas John told District Judge Andrew Sweet: “The allegation comes from Samantha Ginsburg, who lives in a flat in Cromwell Road, SW19.

“Both accused live at their flat and you will hear Samantha Ginsburg’s account of her family circumstances and a course of conduct.”

The charge accuses both Joseph’s of shouting: “Death by fire,” playing their television loudly and calling their neighbour’s young daughter a: “Witch.”

The Joseph’s were bailed by the judge until May 10 for a pre-trial review.

Mrs Joseph told him from the dock: “We are born-again Christians. This witchcraft is not practised openly and in past times they were burned at the stake. 

“The devil is the deceiver. He does everything in secret.

“They are always accusing the person they have attacked and they now use witchcraft as entertainment, magic.”

Mrs Joseph told the court she was simply quoting Psalm 94 Verse 1 of the Bible to protect herself from witchcraft.

Her son told the court they were living in “relative peace” with Samantha and her partner as neighbours for seven years until mysterious things began happening.

“There was a deterioration in our living standards that we have not experienced before.”

He claimed his mother was struck by a mysterious life-threatening illness in 2016. “Her vital signs were shutting down for a minute or so.

“For the first time in her life she had to go to hospital for a life or death issue.

“Over a period of time she was unable to walk. She was virtually bedridden for months, unable to go to the bathroom because she had becomes weak.

“There were a number of sicknesses and there was no diagnosis.”

Mr. Joseph said his mother spent 18 days in hospital. “They were unable to work out what was wrong with her.

“Now, thanks to God, she is able to move around and had her health.”

Regarding the charges he added: “This is a spiritual matter, not something that can be dealt with by any court of law or the police.

“We had been praying the word of God as our only defence, reading from the word of God. This is our way of dealing with it spiritually.”

His mother Leonora added: “None shall suffer a witch. That’s what the Bible says.”

Judge Sweet announced: “The court has been on notice there may be mental health issues in relation to this case. The question as to whether the Joseph’s are able to have a fair trial has been raised.

“Save for a good reason the trial should go ahead and the Crown are keen that it does.

“I have a doubt in my mind, having read the report, that if I go ahead with the trial there is a full capacity on the part of Mr and Mrs Joseph to put their defence and participate in the trial.

“I am asking for a full psychiatric report on Mr and Mrs Joseph, without which I cannot decide if there can be a fair trial.” 

Friday, 29 March 2019

Made In Chelsea Star Caught Drink-Driving After Night Of Gin And Tonics

Court Date: Mills
Made in Chelsea star Charlie Mills has been banned for drink-driving after calling police himself when falling over in the early hours after downing four gin and tonic’s.

The 25 year-old banking heir was stopped in his black two-litre Range Rover near the posh private Hurlingham Club, in Fulham, west London at 1.30am.

He joined the reality tv show for Season 14 in 2017, describing himself as a former model, playboy, and socialite.

Mills, dressed in a light grey double-breasted suit with white shirt and blue tie gave his address to Westminster Magistrates Court as Lound Hall, Bothamsall, Retford, Nottinghamshire.

It is a £4m 70-room country house, built in the Georgian style in the 1930’s for mining heir Sir Harald Peake.

Mills pleaded guilty to driving in Hurlingham Road on March 13 with 78 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35.

He was fined £1100, with £85 costs, ordered to pay a £110 victim surcharge and disqualified for 18 months.

District Judge Michael Snow had encouraged Mills to reconsider fighting the case, even ordering the police bodywork camera footage to be played in court.

During footage of Mills’s arrest

he can be heard explaining: “I fell out of the car with my phone and I really f***ing hurt my head there. 

“I called your 101 people.”

He can also be heard claiming he was looking for a friend’s home in the area and was prepared to leave the vehicle where it was and accept a parking ticket in the morning.

Licence Up In Smoke: Mills
When asked if he had been drinking Mills replied: “Not an exceptional amount, not enough to be over,” indicating he had consumed four gin and tonic’s up to two hours previously.

He had driven to London to party with “nine to ten friends” at Bluebird Chelsea restaurant on the King’s Road then had more drinks at the Ritz afterwards.

He tried to avoid the automatic drink-drive ban by claiming special reasons, namely travelling a short distance on an empty road to find a safe parking space, but this was rejected by the judge.

“I wasn’t planning on drinking, so I was going to drive back so when I did have a drink I was going to a friend’s house in Fulham,” he told the court.

Mills claimed teetotal pal Alexander Nall-Cain drove to the Ritz and then to Fulham, where he intended staying the night at the home of Ella Flashman in Althea Street.

“I was waiting in the car, I don’t remember how long. I was waiting to move the car, to sober up a little bit.

“I had fallen out of the car, the passenger side and tripped and hit my head. I think I tripped on something that was underneath the car.

“I was not in the right state of mind.

“I moved the car from where it was parked to the parking space. My handle was in ‘park’ and that’s when I saw the blue lights.

“I had driven it two hundred yards. The roads were completely deserted.”

Prosecutor Mr. Matt Barrowcliffe said police spotted three mopeds passing at that time and told Mills: “The reason you didn’t see those mopeds was because you were so intoxicated.”

However, Judge Snow said: “Mr. Mills is not driving in a quiet country lane in rural Leicestershire, but in the middle of London and in the middle of the night they have road users and pedestrians on them.

“Even  on his account I don’t find special reasons exist. Two hundred yards is not a very short distance.

“There was the clear possibility of danger of coming into contact with other road users.

“There is no evidence from Mr. Nall-Cain of Ms Flashman. All of this depends on his recollection and his recollection is not a strong one.

“He doesn’t know how long he was sitting in the car or what he tripped up on when he fell out of the car.

“People do stupid things when they are drinking and memories tend to be unreliable.”

Mills claims it was unfair for police to sit and wait for him to drive off when they responded to his 101 call, and the judge said: “They watched him drive away and that may be regarded as a dirty trick or not.” 

Mr. Barrowcliffe told the court police responded to a report of a man who was drunk and considering driving opposite a school in Broomhouse Lane.

“The officer made their way to the area and saw a vehicle parked with it’s lights on. The officer waited to see if anyone returned to the vehicle.

“The officer decided to drive past and as the officer moved off the Range Rover also drove off so he moved in behind and activated the lights and the vehicle stopped.

“This defendant exited with his hands in the air and admitted he, himself called the police, but he could not remember what he said.

“He failed the roadside breath test and was taken into custody.” 

On the footage Mills can be heard saying: “Yeah, that’s way over. I’m going inside,” as he gave the roadside breath-test.

Earlier the judge announced: “He needs to understand the consequences of his actions today. I’m not prepared to accept his not guilty plea today,” when Mills initially decided to fight the charge.

Mary Johnson, defending, told the court: “There are two issues, but without seeing further evidence it is difficult to advise.

“The issue is the procedure in this matter, at the roadside and at the custody suite and there are other arguments in relation to special reasons.

“There are discrepancies in the police officer’s timings, phone calls, they don’t match out timings. There are other factual matters.”

After Mills decided to plead guilty she said: “There was no intention to take the vehicle beyond that point. There is no complaint from the police about the way it was driven.

“It was not driven in a reckless manner that can be criticised. The reason it was being driven was to park it.

“He lives in a rural part of the country where there’s almost no public transport. The nearest is a bus stop one and a half miles away.

“He has taken on a new job in the east Midlands with an investment and property company that requires driving.

“He does a lot of charity work, is involved with the Diana Award, the Mental Health Foundation and with anti-bullying.”

Privately-educated Mills was introduced to the show by old pal Julius Cowdrey. 

The country home is owned by his step-father Robert Everist, a child care centre and manufacturing and property entrepreneur who married Charlie’s mother Susan Mills.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

PA Crashed Car While Over Five Times Drink-Drive Limit

A PA continued driving after her car’s airbag was deployed when she crashed into a tree while over five times the drink-drive limit, a court heard.

Experienced magistrates said in years of court service the reading was the highest they’d ever encountered and was so high it smashed through the established sentencing guidelines.

Witnesses said 28 year-old mum-of-one Carley House was “spaced out” after her severely damaged black Ford Fiesta came to a halt and a resident snatched the ignition keys.

At Croydon Magistrates Court she was sentenced to twelve weeks imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months, and banned from driving for three years.

“Some of us have been sitting in court many, many years and we have never seen such a high quantity of alcohol in someone’s system,” said bench Chairwoman Lesley Budge. 

“You are not even on our sentencing guidelines. You are way over.”

Mum-of-one House, of Derwent Lodge, St. Phillips Avenue, Worcester Park, Sutton pleaded guilty to driving with 191 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath in nearby Sandringham Road on March 3.

The legal limit is 35.

Prosecutor Roz Wordell told the court it was 8.15pm on a Sunday when a local resident heard a “loud bang” outside their address.

“The witness saw House driving and she was trying to drive away so they took the keys out of the ignition and called the police.

“She was sitting in the driver’s seat and was clearly intoxicated and is described as ‘spaced out’.

“The Fiesta had collided with a tree in the street and despite the air bags being deployed she tried to drive off, but only travelled two metres before the damage prevented the vehicle going any further.”

House’s lawyer Judy Ramjeet told the court: “She is extremely scared of being in court today. She has never previously got behind the wheel of a car having drunk alcohol.

“She would always take public transport, a taxi or walk. She can’t explain why she did what she did and is mortified by her actions. 

“She did drive a very short distance, it was very quiet, she had no passengers and there was nobody around.

“Unfortunately she potentially lost her job as a result of this incident, received a minor injury to her shoulder and has been very depressed since the incident.

“She is very scared at the thought of going to prison and does not think she would cope in prison.

“She has tried to tackle her alcohol problem and did go to residential treatment last summer, but after the break-up of her relationship with her partner at the time she resumed drinking.”

The magistrate told tearful House: “When you are behind the wheel of a car you could hurt yourself or damage another vehicle.

“You could have hit a person, instead you hit a tree. It could have been a mother pushing a buggy along with two kiddies.

“We have to mark the fact that you were driving with such a large amount of alcohol in your system.

“This was a high reading out of our guidelines, out of our experience. These were serious matters, but the outcome could have been so much worse.”

House was also ordered to complete 80 hours community service work, complete a 30-day activity requirement and pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Foreign Criminal Saved By Petition Just Keeps Offending

A Seychelles-born criminal, whose battle to avoid deportation was an online cause célèbre, has added to his lengthy record by spitting in a police officer’s mouth after a curry house bust-up.

Over one hundred people signed a petition to support 38 year-old Samuel Orphe’s Home Office fight six years ago, with many praising his qualities and character.

However, the convicted drug-dealer had already been locked-up by then for peddling cocaine, during a criminal career that racked up nearly twenty offences.

After his release and the subsequent Home Office campaign he continued breaking the law and remains at liberty in the UK.

He lives with his parents, who brought him to the UK as an eight year-old, in Harlequin Close, Hounslow, and in 2013 the UK Border Agency began deportation proceedings.

He pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates Court to assaulting a PC Khurana outside Sipson Tandoori, Harmondsworth Road, West Drayton on January 18.

Orphe also admitted using threatening, abusive, insulting words and behaviour inside the restaurant before police arrived.

In the petition, signed by 121 supporters, Matt Dixon wrote: “Deport the people who insight fear and hate, not the good people,” and Hayley Martin said: “Sam is the last person who should be removed from this country. He is a good man.”

Prosecutor Zara Khan told the court: “Orphe attended the restaurant, but did not order any food or drink and kept going outside and coming back in several times.

“He asked the restaurant staff to order him a Uber taxi and they tried to explain that they would not do that and he then demanded we give him food to takeaway for free.

“They told him he would have to pay first for food and he started shouting abusive words and raised his right arm at the manager, who grabbed his arm to prevent potentially being struck.

“There were customers in the restaurant and the defendant was extremely abusive and the manager feared for his safety.

“He said he could smell alcohol on Orphe’s breath and despite trying to explain things, the defendant refused to listen and continued to swear loudly.”

Staff called the police and PC Khurana took Orphe outside. 

“I began to search him and he turned to me and spat directly in my face and it has gone into my mouth and my right eye,” said the officer.

“I left to clean my face and wash with disinfectant.”

The officer was taken to hospital for blood tests. 

“This left me disgusted. I have had to wait weeks for blood tests to see if I have contracted any diseases.”

Orphe’s lawyer Mr. James Lloyd said: “Spitting is a disgusting way of assaulting anybody.

“He has made it clear to me he is sorry. The contrition spreads across the entire incident.”

Orphe was fined £133 for assaulting the officer, plus a £30 victim surcharge and £100 compensation.

He was fined £180 for threatening behaviour and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the restaurant manager and £100 costs.

“This frankly is a disturbing matter,” announced magistrate Lynn Scrivener. “We are dealing with this very seriously and you need to be very careful of your behaviour in the future.”

Orphe told them: “My sincere apologies to the police officer. I feel very, very sorry for him.

‘You will never see me again.”

He had 23 offences on his record before this incident, starting with three cannabis convictions between 2001 and 2003 and in 2004 he received six months imprisonment for suppling class ‘C’ drugs.

Four years later he was disqualified for drink-driving while uninsured, but was caught by police driving during the ban and was also caught with cocaine and cannabis.

In 2009 he was convicted of possessing cocaine; cannabis and an offensive weapon, later breaching the court community orders he received.

Orphe was sentenced to two years imprisonment in 2010 for possessing cocaine, with intent to supply, and also received twelve weeks for battery.

Since the petition he has been caught producing cannabis and on another occasion possessing cocaine and cannabis at a Cambridgeshire music festival.   

On Orphe’s petition Caroline Ward described him as: “A very good man,” and Chris Rooney said: “Samuel is a genuine person with genuine morals,” with Micko Larkin adding: “Such a wonderful person.”

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Economist Guilty Of Tripping Up Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew During Legroom Row

A globetrotting economist has been convicted of deliberately tripping three members of Virgin cabin crew with “judo sweep” kicks during a legroom row on a flight from Johannesburg. 

Hilary Diana Mackay, 54, an international Finance and Project Manager with links to MP’s and senior lawyers and accountants will return to be sentenced on April 12.

She was found guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates Court of assaulting Lucey Downey; Leanne Palmer and Phillip Sumner on Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Ms Downey said Mackay told her: “I don’t f***ing see why I have to move out of the seat. If you’re going to keep p***ing me around and I’m sat looking at three empty seats all night I’m going to make this flight difficult for you.”

She is the ex-Company Secretary of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, a think-tank that counts Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge amongst its members and promotes democracy all over the world.

Mackay, who lives in a £942,000 home in Trebovir Road, Earl’s Court was arrested at Heathrow Airport after her Virgin Atlantic flight landed on December 12, last year.

A charge of being drunk onboard Flight VS462 was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. 

Chain-smoker Mackay told the trial today she was approached by cabin crew after sitting in a Premium Economy seat she had not paid for.

“I told her it was a ten-hour non-smoking flight so it is best that she doesn’t wind me up. I was sitting in an extra legroom seat because someone was sitting in mine.”

She had two wines, plus rum during the flight, but insisted the row was about good service and not securing herself free extra legroom.

“They were aggressive in the first place and had a primary interest in collecting cash for the seat.”

Mackay, a former Grants Officer for the Big Lottery Fund is currently a self-employed independent consultant/researcher specialising in international research and development and humanitarian assistance.

She has a BA in Russian Studies from the University of Leeds and a postgraduate degree from Birkbeck, University of London in Economics.

Mackay told the court: “I thought it was bad taste on the part of the airline to say: ‘We are keeping these three seats empty unless someone pays us sixty pounds to sit in them’.”

She denied aggressively “thrusting” her boarding pass into the face of another crew member, but admits telling the passenger next to her: “This bitch is asking me for sixty pounds.”

Mackay describes her foot “readily moved” into judo sweeps every time a member of cabin crew passed.

Ms Downey told the court she was deliberately tripped by Mackay, who she said thrust her foot into the isle with “force and anger” causing her to trip and sustain bruising to her leg.

This left her “upset and shocked” because she was just there doing her job.

Ms Palmer told the court she saw Mackay deliberately trip her up and she had to grab a seat to prevent falling over into the isle.

In her police statement Ms Downey said: “At 10.30 my attention was drawn to a female passenger. The customer had her leg in the isle, looking like she was stretching.

“She moved it in and then moved it out to deliberately trip me and I grabbed a headrest to break my fall. She made contact by my shin and I believe this was a deliberate attempt to trip me up.”

Mr. Sumner told officers: “At. 11.05 Ms Mackay tripped me up as I approached her and tripped me up as I approached her again. She looked at me and put her foot out.

“I told her she could injure someone.”

Mackay told the magistrates: “I don’t feel guilty, I don’t feel a bit of remorse, I didn’t assault anyone. I was assaulted.”

In her statement she described the cabin crew as a line of “poo-faced blondes” who all looked alike staring at her as she was escorted off the plane by the police.

She added: “On the approach to Heathrow the captain had the gall to thank the cabin crew for their service.”

Monday, 25 March 2019

Life Imprisonment For Midwife Who Beat Husband To Death During Shocking Campaign Of Violent Abuse

A midwife has been jailed for life for murdering her musician teacher husband, who received 78 separate visible injuries at their heavily bloodstained family home.

Hannegret Donnelly, 55, confessed to striking 55 year-old Christopher Donnelly with a rolling-pin at the Berryfields, Aylesbury house they shared with their four children.

She called 999 on March 31, last year, twelve hours after Mr. Donnelly, a biochemistry graduate, died of bronchial pneumonia on the bathroom floor while his entire family were at home.

Grey-haired Donnelly, who showed no emotion in the Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court dock, was ordered to serve a minimum of sixteen years.

Today prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC told the court: “The victim was particularly vulnerable due to disability. This deceased deteriorated over a period of time.

“He was unable to walk, we say he was disabled and on her own admission Hannegret Donnelly continued to assault him at this time.

“She has said these repeated injuries were committed with a rolling pin. The Crown are unable to say if that was the only implement used.

“There was mental and physical suffering inflicted on the deceased before death. He would have been in considerable pain and continued to be assaulted.”

Her four children, aged between fourteen and twenty-two years-old witnessed the murder, but refused to co-operate with the police, did not give evidence at the trial or make victim impact statements following the conviction.

The victim’s Roman Catholic older brother, Peter Donnelly said afterwards: “As far as Hannegret Donnelly’s actions have harmed me I must be in a position to forgive.”

Mrs Justice Amanda Yip told Donnelly: “Hannegret Donnelly, you have been convicted by the jury of the murder of your husband, Christopher Donnelly. I must now sentence you for that offence.

“On the morning of 31 March 2018, you called for an ambulance, reporting that your husband had died the previous evening.

“When paramedics attended, they found his body lying on the bathroom floor. He was clearly dead.

“The paramedics noticed that he had numerous wounds to the head in various stages of healing. You admitted to them that you had caused those wounds by hitting him over the head with a rolling pin.

“This was an unusual case. Despite the obvious wounds to the head, Christopher had not suffered any apparent brain injury and the visible injuries were not the direct cause of his death.

“Post-mortem examination revealed that Christopher had died of bronchopneumonia in circumstances where his body had been subjected to repeated episodes of blunt force trauma.

“He was found to have seventy-eight separate visible external injuries of varying severity.

“Internally, he had fractures to the vertebrae of the neck and the thoracic and lumbar spine, and to both scapulae.

“There were two injuries to the larynx, indicative of neck compression.

“Tellingly, the more recent injury, inflicted within one to three weeks of death suggested the application of pressure the size of a thumb print.

“Although other mechanisms were suggested to the experts, there can be no sensible doubt that Christopher had been subjected to partial strangulation in the weeks before his death.

“Christopher’s ears showed the appearance typically seen in rugby players and boxers, so-called cauliflower ears.

“Such injuries result from repeated trauma to the cartilage of the outer ear.

“There was chronic remodelling of the bone across the whole skull, evidencing repeated trauma.

“Some of that was long-standing. There was also evidence that injury to the skull had been inflicted on more than one occasion within a few days of death, most recently haemorrhage had occurred within 2 days of Christopher dying.

“The pathologist said that he had never seen a case involving so many injuries inflicted over such a long period of time with so much resulting scar tissue.

“Viewed together, the injuries point to a sustained campaign of serious physical abuse over a prolonged period.

“Medical opinion confirmed that this contributed to Christopher’s death, at the age of fifty-five.

“His body was weakened by the repeated trauma and the need to continually repair itself.

“By January, 2018, he was described by a neighbour as clearly unwell and looking more like a man in his eighties.

“There was no other underlying cause to account for his condition. Even when he reached that point, the evidence is clear that you continued to assault him.

“Examination of your house revealed numerous areas of blood staining on walls, ceilings, doors and the bathroom blind.

“This was the house in which you and your husband lived with your four children then aged thirteen to twenty-one.

“It is hard to imagine the horror that they must have witnessed or the harm that has been caused as a result.

“Forensic evidence confirmed that all the blood markings came from Christopher.

“The blood spatter across walls, ceilings and furniture was indicative of repeated beatings occurring in various parts of the house.

“Repeated blows with a weapon, such as a rolling pin, are required to produce the observed blood patterns.

“You admitted to the police that you had repeatedly assaulted Christopher, causing the wounds to his head.

“There can be no doubt that the other injuries were also inflicted by you.

“The fractures to the back and associated tissue scarring suggest a defensive position, perhaps curled up but certainly with his back to you.

“You said in interview that you had hit Christopher not every day, but every few days.

“You sought to minimise the harm you had done, claiming that there was something strange in the house that had affected your health as well as Christopher’s.

“It is notable that no signs of illness or injury were found when you were medically examined after your arrest.

“You gave various reasons for what you had done, none of which make much sense.

“You talked about Christopher being in a time warp, reminiscing about earlier stages of his life, and about him descending into foul moods.

“You also suggested that at times he welcomed the beatings and that he was not really affected by them.

“You claimed that there was an occasion around New Year 2015, 2016 when Christopher assaulted you by punching you and then pushing you into a cabinet.

“Since your children apparently confirmed this, I am prepared to accept that there was an incident in which Christopher used some violence towards you.

“However, it is clear from all that I have heard that this was out of character for him.

“There is no hint that he had been violent before.

“I do not know what lay behind this, in particular, I have no way of knowing whether it was entirely one-sided.

“However, as is readily accepted on your behalf, it cannot begin to excuse your later conduct.

“What is clear is that the violence you inflicted was one-sided.

“You have not suggested that Christopher was violent to you at any time after that; there were no signs of injury on you when you were arrested, and the blood found in your home all matched his.

“No one but you really knows what caused you to repeatedly assault your husband.

“It does not appear your relationship was always troubled.

“You had been married twenty-three years at the time of his death.

“I have heard that you were an exceptionally close family.

“You and your husband apparently shared similar views about many things, including concerns about the modern education system which led you to home educate your children and a rejection of modern means of communication.

“None of you had mobile phones and although you once had a landline that had been discontinued.

“It appears that the family were leading a somewhat isolated existence at the time of Christopher’s death.

“I have seen photographs and video clips of happier times and have heard evidence about enjoyable times spent with your wider family.

“However, around 2014, it seems that all contact with your extended families ceased. The family were not often seen by neighbours.

“When you did go out you all tended to go out together. You were a qualified midwife, but you gave that occupation up to raise your children.

“Your husband was a music teacher, but he gave his job up in 2015.

“You talked of Christopher experiencing “mental decline”.

“You said that he had begun losing weight a couple of years before his death and photographs appear to support this, although he still looked physically well then.

“From things you and the children said to the police, it may be that Christopher started to experience mental health issues around 2014 to 2015, coinciding with him ceasing work and cutting off contact with his family.

“It is said on your behalf that this was before you had begun assaulting him and so was not caused by your abuse.

“However, what that must mean is that your abuse began at a time when Christopher’s mental health was declining.

“At a time when he needed the support of his wife of over twenty years, you instead inflicted terrible violence on him.

“Having said that, I am prepared to accept for the purpose of sentencing you that initially this decline may not have manifested itself as an obvious vulnerability.

“Things the children said suggest that Christopher may at times have been quite difficult to live with and that, as is contended on your behalf, you experienced a decline in the quality of your family life.

“None of this though can begin to excuse what you did.

“You continued to abuse Christopher when he was in a state of obvious physical decline, as was apparent to your neighbour and is readily visible on the CCTV video of your trip to Kew Gardens, just ten days before he died.

“The medical evidence confirms that the neck injury was significant and would have been very painful.

“You talked about Christopher being stooped with very stiff shoulders and shuffling, all of which are compatible with a painful injury and spinal cord irritation.

“Still, you continued to inflict further injury.

“As the jury have found, you intended, at least, to inflict really serious harm.

“I cannot be sure that the injuries were inflicted with an intention to kill.

“I must therefore sentence you on the basis of the lesser intent to cause serious harm.

“However, the extent to which this affords mitigation is tempered by your actions at the time of Christopher’s death.

“The events of the night of his death suggest that even if you did not wish him dead, you at least did not wish to save his life.

“Although it is said that you took some steps to help him when he was very unwell, the fact remains that Christopher suffered further injuries within his last twenty-four hours alive.

“He died on the bathroom floor that night. The various excuses you gave for not calling an ambulance sooner are simply not credible.

“You waited until all signs of life were absent before calling the emergency services.

“You have, of course, also deprived your four children of their father. Sadly, your separation from them through your arrest and now imprisonment can only add to their trauma.

“You, Hannegret Donnelly, are fifty-five years old. You have no previous convictions.

“I have listened to all that has been said on your behalf. Your situation is unusual.

“I accept that until this abuse started, you had led a blameless life, had been happily married for many years and had apparently been a good mother to your four children.

“There is only one sentence that the law allows to be passed for murder: that is a mandatory life sentence.

“The circumstances are unusual, involving repeated incidents of violence over a prolonged period. It is clear that Christopher had experienced real physical suffering for a long period before death.

“It is inconceivable that he did not also suffer mentally.

“Although I identify these matters as aggravating factors, I must guard against double counting them. The unusual circumstances of Christopher’s death call for careful consideration.

“Although there were repeated episodes of violence before his death, I bear in mind that it is the cumulative effect of those assaults that has given rise to the conviction for murder.

“Further, the vulnerability I have identified arose from those earlier assaults. To treat the prior suffering and the vulnerability as separate aggravating factors requiring separate uplifts to the starting point would, in my view, risk overstating matters.

“I will therefore look at the matter in the round. I must though have in mind that you persisted in inflicting serious harm on Christopher as he was very obviously suffering and becoming weaker.

“It is also a serious feature of your offending that your children must have witnessed your repeated violence towards their father and were present when he died.

“The effects on them are hard to imagine. The fact that they lived a relatively isolated existence magnifies the impact upon them.

“I am pleased to hear that they are now getting on with their lives as best they can.

Ms Marshall told the jury, who unanimously convicted Donnelly of murder after a 13-day trial: “In the last year of his life Mr. Donnelly was subjected to repeated serious domestic abuse.”

She said the victim had 78 exterior visible injuries, plus fractures to both shoulders; his back; neck and voice box.

“The majority of the injuries were caused by blunt force trauma, mostly to the head, neck, shoulders and back.

“The Crown’s case is Mrs Donnelly murdered her husband by repeatedly inflicting injuries on him that resulted in his poor health and eventual death.”

The court heard paramedics felt the Christian family, who had become increasingly isolated, were strangely detached from Mr. Donnelly’s death.

“They noticed his head was covered in multiple wounds, gashes, about twenty in all,” added the QC.

The defendant told the paramedics they occurred two weeks previously. “I did hit him over the head with a rolling pin after a falling out,” she told them.

“Christopher wouldn’t have wanted to go to the hospital. He doesn’t like doctors,” added Mrs Donnelly.

Old blood staining from the victim was found on the walls and ceiling by the front door, hallway, staircase, dining-room, kitchen and bathroom, plus on radiators, furniture, window blinds and wall tiles.

Mr. Donnelly was described as a “talented musician” who studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and played the saxophone and clarinet.

He met German-born Hannegret in 1992 and the couple’s four children are aged between fourteen and twenty-two years-old.

“Their household was a complex and strange one and even though they seemed a conventional family over the years they withdrew from life outside and the children were home taught.”

Family members described the defendant as “controlling” the jury were told, with the couple having “lost a grip on reality” and talking about “living in end times.”

When Mrs Donnelly was asked by the 999 operator why she waited so long to raise the alarm, she replied: “We wanted to grieve.”

Paramedics arrived at the cluttered home and felt a strange atmosphere, explained Ms Marshall. “The defendant did not appear panicked or distressed.”

They noted Mr. Donnelly’s nose was flat, with a large wound across the top and his face and ears were deformed.

The jury were told the blood staining was consistent with more than one strike with a blunt object and Mrs Donnelly repeated her rolling pin story to the police, but now said it was months previously.

“She told the police she hit him with the rolling pin in self-defence and said: ‘I had to defend my corner somehow.’

“Even if violence occurred in 2015 as she said it is minimal compared to the injuries she inflicted on her husband.

“He appears never to have retaliated when she inflicted these injuries.”

Police found her diary, which included an entry in January, last year, which translated as: ‘I didn’t let him go to the toilet.’

“This exhibits the control she had over Mr. Donnelly,” said the prosecutor.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Felicity Parker of Thames Valley Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Investigation Unit said: “Hannegret subjected her husband to a prolonged period of domestic abuse, systematically hitting him with a variety of objects, including a rolling pin when he said or did something she did not approve of.”