Carer guilty of beating man to death with claw hammer

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A carer who “brutally” beat an elderly man to death in a hammer attack after he changed his will to leave her a £340,000 legacy has been convicted of murder.

Paul Norfolk, 77, was found dead in his blood-spattered bed when police entered his home in Castle Lane, Haverhill, Suffolk, on December 30, Ipswich Crown Court heard during a two-week trial.

Alongside him police found his badly injured killer, Bunthawee Rimmer. Rimmer denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility but yesterday, after a day and a half of jury deliberations, she was found guilty.

Rimmer, 49, originally from Thailand, claimed she was in a relationship with Mr Norfolk.

“You may think money played a rather important role,” prosecutor Andrew Jackson told jurors.

“Whether or not she killed him for his money only she knows.”

He added: “She did it by raining blows on to his head using a 16oz claw hammer.”

After the attack, Rimmer drank toilet cleaner and stabbed herself in the chest. She had moved into Mr Norfolk’s home in late 2010 to help care for his wife, Esme, shortly after the death of her husband, Geoffrey Rimmer.

Mr Rimmer, who died of natural causes, was a close friend of Mr Norfolk and the pair had travelled to Thailand regularly during the 1990s.

Rimmer stayed living with Mr Norfolk after his wife, who suffered a stroke and dementia, was taken into care.