Killer jailed for eight years

A woman who killed her frail partner has been jailed for eight years.

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Sheila Lockridge strangled Dianne Williamson at their home in Lodge Gardens, Gristhorpe.

Lockridge, 66, was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter and sentenced at Leeds crown court.

The couple’s 30-year relationship had frayed and Lockridge had become aggressive towards Williamson, who was 70, in poor health and weighed 7.5 stones, the court heard.

Witnesses said in statements that Williamson suffered various bruises over the years. They suspected she was a victim of domestic violence.

On one occasion, a witness overheard an argument between the couple in which Williamson pleaded with Lockridge: “Please don’t stab me. Please don’t kill me”. The witness rushed into the room to find Lockridge brandishing a kitchen knife and intervened.

On 2 September 2018, Lockridge had spent the afternoon in a pub before going home at around 7pm. At 7.39pm, she dialled 999, asked for the police and said her partner was dead.

The prosecution alleged that she didn’t make the call until at least 14 minutes after she killed Williamson, after ringing other people about a dozen times.

Lockridge told a police officer at the scene: “I strangled her. She’s dead”.

The defendant was arrested and the case investigated by a police team which specialises in complex investigations for serious crimes such as murder, rape and serious robberies.

During interviews, Lockridge claimed Williamson was violent towards her. She claimed she pinned her down to restrain her and she didn’t get up. The prosecution said Lockridge was the perpetrator of the domestic violence.