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28 years for man who killed sister-in-law with a hatchet

10 October 2023

Catherine Pattison and Sam Willis prosecuted this case of murder, which concluded this week with the court imposing on the defendant a life sentence with a 28-year minimum term. During a 3-week trial, the court heard how the defendant had brutally attacked his sister-in-law with a hatchet but claimed that he had been suffering from paranoid delusions that caused him to see her as a manifestation of the devil. The prosecution’s case was that this ’sham defence’ had been concocted by the defendant after his arrest to avoid the consequences of his actions. Earlier in the year a jury at the Central Criminal Court had rejected the defendant's account, convicting him of murder and making a threat to kill. 

Catherine and Sam were instructed by CPS Homicide.