A trans woman has been found guilty of murdering her severely ill father at their home in Essex.
Claire Darbyshire, 36, has been found guilty of the murder of her 67-year-old father, Brian Darbyshire, after a 9 day trial at the Old Bailey in London.
Mr Darbyshire was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and was bedbound as a result of his illness.
Ms. Darbyshire, who started her transition in 2008 was Mr Darbyshire’s primary carer. The two had live a “near reclusive life together at their home.”
Police had been called to the Darbyshire home on the morning of Thursday, 10 September 2015, by a concerned neighbour who noticed the bins at a family home were empty and a light turned off.
Officers from Barking and Dagenham Borough attended and forced entry to the address. Inside they found a body; later identified as Brian Darbyshire.
With the body were a number of items, including notes from Claire Darbyshire claiming that she and her father had made a suicide pact.
She wrote that her father no longer wanted to live with MS and Darbyshire claimed she could not go on without her father.
The notes stated that an attempted overdose of paracetamol had failed, and so they had found another way.
A post-mortem examination later gave Mr Darbyshire’s cause of death as being consistent with plastic bag asphyxia.
Detectives began enquiries to urgently trace Claire Darbyshire. She was found to have been dealt with by police in Dover on 3 September 2015, after seeking help stating she had been suicidal.
On 10 September, Detectives attended the hostel where Darbyshire had been staying in Kent and she was arrested on suspicion of murder.
During a formal interview by the police Ms. Darbyshire gave a prepared statement confirming that she had killed her father at around 04:30hrs on 2 September 2015. She declined to answer further questions put to her about the incident. She was charged with murder not long after midnight on 12 September 2015
Detective Inspector Sarah McConnell, the investigating officer for the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:
“It is always difficult for those involved when a person loses their life, whatever the circumstances, and this case raises a number of sensitive issues. The reclusive lifestyle that Brian and Claire Darbyshire had lived for a number of years, means it is difficult to fully understand their precise situation. However, after considering all of the evidence in this case the jury returned a unanimous verdict of murder which has been welcomed by the remaining family of Brian Darbyshire.”
According to The Evening Standard, The jury rejected a manslaughter plea finding her guilty of murder after deliberating for nearly 12 hours.