Gristhorpe killer Sheila Lockridge strangled her 70-year-old partner to death, then waited to call police

Convicted killer Sheila Lockridge has been told she faces a long stretch behind bars after she admitted strangling her partner to death following a mammoth drinking session.

Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 7:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 8:49 am

Lockridge, 65, from Filey, pinned her partner Dianne Williamson to a wall and got “in her face”, before choking the frail 70-year-old until she blacked out, say the prosecution.

Miss Williamson was said to have died very quickly after losing consciousness following a blazing row at the couple’s home in Gristhorpe, near Filey.

Lockridge, who had drunk about eight pints of beer and three glasses of rum from all-day boozing, waited about 14 minutes until after Miss Williamson’s death before she called police, Leeds Crown Court heard.

A history of violence: Read more about the case HERE

Officers and paramedics arrived at the couple’s home in Lodge Gardens at about 7.30pm on September 2 last year and found Miss Williamson’s body.

Lockridge was arrested and charged with murder. She denied the allegation and was due to face trial this week, but her earlier guilty plea to an alternative charge of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility was finally accepted by the prosecution on Monday.

Lockridge appeared back before the court on Tuesday when her sentence was adjourned for probation and psychiatric reports.

But judge Guy Kearl QC warned her she faced a “considerable” jail sentence, adding: “That is inevitable.”

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life in prison, but Mr Kearl said the severity of her sentence on May 3 would depend on the extent of her culpability and diminished responsibility due to her mental state at the time of the killing.

He said he would also assess whether she was a danger to the public before passing sentence.

Lockridge - who is said to be of a much heavier build than her “frail”, diminutive former partner - waved demurely to family in the public gallery before the prosecution and defence outlined their cases, which centred on the former couple’s turbulent relationship which had been “punctuated” by violence.

Adjourning sentence until May 3 - the day before Lockridge’s 66th birthday - judge Mr Kearl QC said he would have to assess the couple’s turbulent relationship and the previous alleged knife incidents, as well as considering whether Lockridge’s fatal actions in September were the culmination of a “pattern of behaviour”.

Following the end of proceedings, the judge asked her if she understood the reasons for the adjournment and she replied, “Yes, sir”, before thanking the judge and being led down to the cells by a prison officer.