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Grandmother beaten to death by woman who thought people were ‘out to get her’ | UK News



A woman with a history of mental illness beat a 64-year-old grandmother to death in her own garden and left her body underneath a stone bird bath, a court heard.

Sherry Moore, 55, battered neighbour Sue Atkinson with a metal pole and later told police: “I’m a bad person, I killed a lady, I need to be in prison.”

Retired nursery nurse Mrs Atkinson had been due to meet a friend on the evening of 20 October last year but never showed up.

After her friend became concerned for her wellbeing, she went to visit Mrs Atkinson’s home the next day – and found her body lying in the garden.

A post-mortem found the grandmother died from blunt force trauma and suffered more than 100 injuries to her head, neck and chest.

Prosecutors told Hull Crown Court that Moore, from Hull, had been diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder and believed she was under threat from people who were “out to get her”.

She had reportedly been admitted to psychiatric hospital at least 12 times but was not taking her medication at the time of the attack.

Moore has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Patrick Palmer, prosecuting, said the 55-year-old was exhibiting symptoms of psychosis when she was arrested.

Police tape
Sherry Moore pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. File pic

He said: “She had consistently reported that she believed she was under threat and unknown people were out to get her. She clearly was not acting rationally.

“She was suffering from an abnormality of mental function, on the balance of probabilities she acted on her paranoid beliefs.”

Mrs Atkinson reportedly told a friend previously she had seen “increasingly bizarre behaviour” from her neighbour.

Following her arrest, Moore told police: “She was my next-door neighbour, I’m an evil person.”

She added: “I pushed something heavy, it fell on her, I didn’t think it would make her die.”

Hull Crown Court heard Moore’s previous hospital admissions included one in 1993 after she stabbed her two-year-old son with a kitchen knife and one in 2014 after she entered a child’s bedroom in a stranger’s house and put a necklace around the child’s neck.

She was due to be sentenced on Tuesday but the case was adjourned for the judge to consider all sentencing options, after a psychiatrist recommended Moore is made subject to hospital order.

However Judge Paul Watson QC told the court he was considering imposing a jail term after initially sending the defendant to hospital for treatment.

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