Man murdered 60-year-old woman who replaced him in job as stable hand

A former stable hand who killed a 60-year-old woman who replaced him in his job has been jailed by a UK court for a minimum of 24 years by a judge who said the murder was a "culmination of seething resentment".

Daniel Edwards, 22, killed Fiona Southwell, who was found dead with 19 stab wounds to her head and body at a farm near Hornsea, East Yorkshire, in July last year.

Edwards was found guilty of murder by a jury at Hull Crown Court after just under three hours of deliberations.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC jailed him for life, ordering him the serve a minimum of 24 years in prison.

He told Edwards: "It was the culmination of seething resentment of her having replaced you as a stable hand and the fact you were wallowing in your own self-pity and anger."

The judge said Edwards was a man of "limited intellectual abilities" who deliberately armed himself with a knife with the intention of killing Miss Southwell.

He said: "You planned to kill her by stabbing her to death. You executed that plan with ferocious determination and brutality."

Edwards killed Miss Southwell at Grange Farm on July 15 2016.

Judge Richardson said she was "a much loved woman who was well known in equestrian circles in East Yorkshire.

"She was devoted to the care of horses, and country pursuits."

He said she was "a good woman and person much liked and respected in her community".

The trial heard how Edwards started to look after three horses at the farm in spring 2016, but was dismissed "in a gentle and understanding way" in May 2016 and replaced by Miss Southwell.

The judge said: "You harboured a festering resentment about her doing the work you undoubtedly enjoyed."

He said it was plain Edwards was in a "warped frame of mind" by mid July.

The judge said: "The use of some of the language of the Facebook posting you later shared - you let out the demons within you."

He said: "The attack on Fiona Southwell was merciless and savage.

"She was stabbed many times about her head, neck and body.

"It is plain you exerted considerable force to inflict such repeated, penetrating, savagery upon that poor woman, who was described by her brother and sister as gentle and kind."

Judge Richardson concluded: "Not a shred of genuine remorse or regret has been uttered by you."

Fiona Southwell's family said in a statement: "We will miss Fiona for the rest of our lives.

"She was a gifted horsewoman, artist and poet. Her family and friends loved her and now all we have are our memories.

"Fiona put her horses before herself, she was kind, hard-working and totally honest. She would never hurt a fly.

"We would like anyone that knew Fiona to remember her where she was happiest, with her horses."

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Cockerill said: "This was a dreadful attack on a defenceless lady by a 6ft tall, 21-year-old man who had armed himself with a kitchen knife.

"A cowardly act by any measure and Fiona Southwell never stood a chance.

"She was killed in a sustained and extremely violent attack."

More in this Section

Labour cannot ‘sit on the fence’ says Tom Watson as he urges second Brexit vote

Comedian bids for power as Ukraine goes to polls

At least 30 killed in Sri Lanka explosions

Vatican darkened for poignant Easter ritual


Runner of the Week: Cork man taking on marathon challenge for mental health awareness

We sell books: Sisters are doing it for themselves

Dark side of teen life: Bo Burnham's Eight Grade highlights anxieties of the self generation

Wealth inequality behind the extinction of mammals

More From The Irish Examiner