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...
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.
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.’