Slayed with meat cleaver

Plagued by demons from her child­hood, and fu­elled by drugs, Lind­sey Fletcher, 39, from Don­caster, took the worst kind of re­venge...

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Driven by ha­tred, she at­tacked with a meat cleaver

Most fam­i­lies spend Christ­mas en­joy­ing a roast, pulling crack­ers and swap­ping presents... It’s a time to trea­sure with those we love most.

But, for Lind­sey Fletcher, 39, last Christ­mas was un­for­get­table for the most tragic of rea­sons…

It ap­par­ently all be­gan when she was a young child, aged just 5 and – she would later claim – was sex­u­ally abused by her step-grandad Michael Ea­ton.

It would ap­pear that his dark ac­tions set her on a path des­tined to end in dis­as­ter.

It seems that Fletcher felt un­able to tell any­one of the abuse, in­stead turn­ing to drugs in her teens, spi­ralling into life-long ad­dic­tion.

But the rage she felt be­cause of Ea­ton’s al­leged abuse ate away at her. It would later be heard that Fletcher ‘loathed’ the re­tired de­liv­ery driver, talked about killing him.

How­ever, torn be­tween want­ing never to see Ea­ton again and des­per­a­tion for her next drugs hit, when money ran low, she moved into his home, took hand­outs from him.

Now in her 30s, Fletcher said her step-grand­fa­ther picked up where he’d left off with his abuse.

Ap­par­ently a vic­tim once again, Fletcher’s re­sent­ment fes­tered. She told friends that she wanted Ea­ton, 72, dead, scour­ing the In­ter­net for the most haz­ardous types of poi­son.

And, on Christ­mas Day 2017, af­ter spend­ing the morn­ing un­wrap­ping gifts with her chil­dren, Fletcher headed back to Ea­ton’s home.

As Ea­ton al­legedly made moves to as­sault her, Fletcher made sure it was for the last time.

Driven by ha­tred, fu­elled by the drugs pump­ing through her veins, she at­tacked Ea­ton with a meat cleaver she’d grabbed from the kitchen.

Fletcher hit him over the head and face six times. She didn’t stop – in a frenzy, she couldn’t.

Next, she stabbed him 120 times with a steak knife, and beat the el­derly man with his own walk­ing stick.

Then Fletcher cut off his clothes with scis­sors and doused his body with bleach.

Flee­ing the flat, she dumped some of the ev­i­dence on waste ground, the rest in the River Don.

On Box­ing Day, the po­lice were called fol­low­ing a re­port of a body…and a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched.

State­ments from ex­tended fam­ily mem­bers and CCTV footage quickly re­vealed the prime sus­pect.

Two days later, Lind­sey Fletcher was charged with the mur­der of Michael Ea­ton.

Mean­while, spe­cial­ist un­der­wa­ter search of­fi­cers scoured the riverbed.

They found Ea­ton’s jumper, cov­ered in holes from the stab­bings, and the walk­ing stick used in the at­tack.

On trial at Sh­effield Crown Court in June, Lind­sey Fletcher pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter, de­nied mur­der.

The court heard that Fletcher’s step-grand­fa­ther had sex­u­ally abused her be­tween the ages of 5 and 11.

Fletcher blamed her Class A drug habit on Ea­ton’s ac­tions.

And she said that, when he’d at­tempted to abuse her again on Christ­mas Day, she’d lashed out.

She’d been on a cock­tail of drugs that day, in­clud­ing crack co­caine and heroin.

The 12 jurors took seven hours to reach their ver­dict.

Guilty.

Mr Jus­tice Ni­cholas Laven­der sen­tenced Fletcher to life in prison, to serve a min­i­mum of 12 years 196 days.

He ac­cepted that Ea­ton had tried to abuse Fletcher on Christ­mas Day and, cou­pled with the at­tacks he’d sub­jected her to as a child, said it proved a ‘sig­nif­i­cant mit­i­gat­ing fac­tor’ in the mur­der.

But he told Fletcher, ‘What you did went way be­yond what any woman of your age, who was sober, who had a nor­mal amount of tol­er­ance and self-re­straint, would have done in the cir­cum­stances.’

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