A woman who forged a millionaire’s will before starving him to inherit part of his £ 3.5million fortune has been jailed for life.
Prosecutors believe this is the first successful conviction for willful starvation murder in more than 100 years.
Lynda Rickard, 62, was convicted of murdering former auctioneer James Sootheran – known as Anthony – when he was 59.
Rickard’s husband Wayne Rickard, 66, was jailed for 10½ years after being acquitted of murder but convicted of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.
Mr Sootheran died at his home in South Newington, Oxfordshire, in March 2014, the farm he owned having over 60 acres of land.
Mr. Sootheran was over 6 feet tall but weighed less than nine stones when he died.
Rickard, a caregiver, had received £ 47,000 a year to care for Mr Sootheran’s mother, Mary Sootheran – known as Joy – until her death in 2012 at the age of 92.
The 62-year-old has denied the murder – claiming Mr Sootheran’s death was due to the way he chose to live his life.
Rickard did not testify at his trial. Camera footage of the police body showed her lighting a cigarette during her arrest.
The criminal admitted to taking tens of thousands of pounds of her clients’ money to pay for things like private school for her children, who are now adults.
Rickard also pleaded guilty to forging the wills of the two Sootherans – which would have seen him eligible for half of Ms Sootheran’s £ 1.5million estate and a third of Ms Sootheran’s fortune. million pounds sterling from Mr Sootheran.
Judge M. Justice Wall sentenced Rickard to life imprisonment, with a minimum sentence of 28 years behind bars.
Speaking at the sentencing at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, the judge said: “Your greed was such that when you thought …
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This notice was published: 2021-06-01 19:32:00