Transgender carer who murdered dad jailed for life

Claire Darbyshire was found guilty this morning

Claire Darbyshire was found guilty this morning - Credit: Archant

A transgender carer who murdered her dad has been jailed for life.

Claire Darbyshire, 36, listened without expression as she was sentenced at the Old Bailey this morning.

She will serve a minimum sentence of four years minus the 180 days she has served since her arrest.

Darbyshire was found guilty of murdering her 67-year-old father, Brian, who suffered from multiple scelerosis, with a plastic bag following a trial last month.

She admitted killing her dad at their home in Wykeham Green, Dagenham, on September 2 last year but denied murder.


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Speaking at today’s sentencing, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: “The fact is a life was taken in circumstances where no other person could step in and bring it to a premature conclusion.

“You did that behind closed doors and you shouldn’t have done that.

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“You know that you had committed a crime as you said in the note that you left.”

Judge Hilliard noted parallels between the Frances Inglis case, where a mother who killed her brain-damaged son with a heroin injection was sentenced to nine years minimum term.

But the Recorder of London said this case was “less grave”, adding that Darbyshire believed it to be an “act of mercy”.

He made mention of the claustrophobic conditions of the Darbyshires’ life together, saying: “You had particular difficulties as a pre-operative transsexual which meant that you spent most of your life indoors.”

Earlier, he described Darbyshire as “a very timid and unconfident person. She realised she would have to surrender herself to the police but was terrified about what that mean in her particular circumstance”.

She was found the evening after the murder at the cliffs of Dover, shivering wet and asking for help. She had sent a message to their district nurse asking them to attend to her father.

In differentiating between assisted suicide and murder, Judge Hilliard said the key was that it had not been proved that Darbyshire’s father had agreed to her suicide. He did add though that there was “substantial evidence in court that he did go willingly to his death”.

Do you know Claire Darbyshire or did you know Brian Darbyshire? Email phoebe.cooke@archant.co.uk or call 020 8477 3886.

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