Jailed: ‘Bully’ who murdered pensioner he found in his bed after she mistook his home for B&B
A man has been jailed for life with a minimum of 13 years for murdering a woman who mistook his home for a bed and breakfast.
David Redfern, 46, murdered pensioner Margaret Barnes, 71, dragging her out of bed by her feet and down the stairs at his home in Barmouth, North Wales, on 11 July last year.
The homeowner was furious after discovering Ms Barnes had settled into his home. The jury heard Redfern found her sitting up in his bed drinking gin and tonic with her false teeth on the bedside table.
He stamped and kicked her accusing her of stealing before throwing her onto the street along with her suitcase.
Pathologists said Ms Barnes sustained three broken ribs and damage to her liver and the court heard Redfern refused to call an ambulance for Ms Barnes as she lay dying in the street.
Sentencing Redfern, the judge said he accepted that the homeowner was shocked to see the pensioner in his bedroom but said his reaction “surpassed anything any reasonable person could imagine”.
“I can understand why you might have escorted her out of her house but a different person may have responded to the situation by trying to help her but the assault – a kick or stamp of sufficient force to cause a fatal injury, was a dreadful thing to do to a defenceless elderly person,” the judge said.
Ms Barnes died in the street from catastrophic injuries. She had planned to stay at a nearby B&B a few doors away from Redfern’s property.
In a statement released after the jury’s verdict this week, Ms Barnes’s family described her as “a much-loved wife, mother and grandmother”.
“As a family it has been the hardest time of our lives. It has been especially difficult for Margaret’s husband who had been her partner for 56 years.
“We now have some sort of closure on what has happened, however no length of sentence will ever fill the void that Margaret has left behind. As a family we would like to thank the police [for] their hard work in putting the case together.”
Detective Superintendent Mark Pierce said Redfern has “no remorse” and attempted to blame Ms Barnes – subjecting her family “to the trauma of a two-week trial”.
“How a 21 stone, 6ft 1in man could have inflicted such catastrophic injuries on a frail, 71-year-old lady, 25 years his senior, is beyond the comprehension of any reasonable person,” Mr Pierce said.
“David Redfern is a cowardly, vicious bully and will now spend at least 14 years behind bars where he can reflect on what he has done.
“In stark contrast, Margaret’s family have displayed tremendous courage and dignity throughout the investigation and during the court proceedings. They can now start to rebuild their lives as they begin to move forward.”