Zara Radcliffe pleads guilty to killing church warden inside Co-op store during series of stabbings in South Wales

  • london
  • October 19, 2020
  • Comments Off on Zara Radcliffe pleads guilty to killing church warden inside Co-op store during series of stabbings in South Wales

A woman has admitted to killing a pensioner during a stabbing spree a Co-op store in South Wales.

Zara Radcliffe had previously denied the murder of 88-year-old church warden, John Rees.

Mr Rees was knifed to death during a series of stabbings in the village of Pen Y Graig, Rhondda on May 5 this year.

Radcliffe admitted at Merthyr Crown Court on Monday to the manslaughter by diminished responsibility of Mr Rees.

She also pleaded guilty to the attempted murders of Andrew Price, Gaynor Saurin and Lisa Way, who were all injured during the incident.

A forensic officer at the scene (PA )

The 30-year-old defendant, from Wyndham Street, Porth spoke only to enter her pleas from Rampton secure hospital in Nottinghamshire, where she is currently being held.

Michael Jones QC, prosecuting, told the court the pleas were acceptable to the Crown as at the time of the incident Radcliffe was suffering from schizophrenia.

Mr Jones told the court: “My Lady, I know, has seen the factual evidence in this case, but also the psychiatric evidence in this case from two experienced psychiatrists.

“We have very carefully considered the evidence in this case and the psychiatric evidence which demonstrates at the time of the offending Miss Radcliffe was profoundly mentally ill and unwell.

“Those pleas represent, the Crown contend, the factual evidence in this case and the psychiatric evidence in this case, namely at the material time and currently, Miss Radcliffe sufferers from schizophrenia.

“Those pleas have been very carefully considered by the prosecution and the police teams and they reflect the factual evidence in this case and the psychiatric evidence in this case and, therefore, we accept those pleas as entered.”

Mr Rees, who lived in the nearby village of Trealaw with his wife Eunice, was a church warden at All Saints Church.

An inquest previously heard Mr Rees died at the scene from severe blunt force trauma to the face, including multiple facial fractures.

In a statement after his death, Mr Rees’ family said: “John was the very definition of a good man, extremely respected and liked in the community.

“He was proud of his family, proud to be a Welshman and devoted to All Saints Church. We will all miss him terribly.”

Radcliffe will be sentenced on Wednesday at Merthyr Crown Court.

Additional reporting by PA Media.