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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 9 December, 2016
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Woman convicted of murdering father who had MS

Brian and Claire Darbyshire had lived together reclusively for a number of years.

claire derbyshire Claire Darbyshire Source: Met Police

A WOMAN HAS been convicted of murdering her father who was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Claire Darbyshire, a preoperative transgender person who has been living as a woman since 2008, was found guilty before the Old Bailey in London today of killing her 67-year-old father Brian Darbyshire.

This happened at their home in Wykeham Green, Dagenham in September 2015.

The Met Police have said that she lived a reclusive lifestyle at home with her father.

She had been his primary carer for the past number of years.

Police were called to the home on 10 September 2015 when a concerned neighbour had noticed that the bins in the family home were empty and that the lights had been turned off.

Officers from the local police force attended the scene and found a body inside which was later identified as Brian Darbyshire.

Inside a note was discovered from Claire Darbyshire claiming that she and her father had made a suicide pact, saying that he no longer wanted to live with MS and that she did not wish to go on living without him.

The note stated that they had attempted to die by suicide by overdosing on paracetamol but that this attempt had failed.

A post-mortem examination had found Brian Darbyshire’s injuries consistent with plastic bag asphyxia.

Claire Darbyshire was arrested a few days later at a hostel in Kent on suspicion of murder. 

She later gave a statement confirming that she had killed her father.

In a statement today, the Met Police have said that there was no evidence that Brian Darbyshire (either from himself of from health care professionals that dealt with him) had experienced suicidal thoughts.

There was also no evidence found to corroborate the claim that there had been an initial suicide attempt involving paracetamol.

Before being arrested by police in Kent, Claire Darbyshire had been in contact with police in Dover – where it was recorded that she had approached members of the public and told them she planned to die by suicide.

Speaking about the case, detective inspector Sarah McConnell, an investigating officer from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said, “It is always difficult for those involved when a person loses their life, whatever the circumstances, and this case raises a number of sensitive issues.

The reclusive lifestyle that Brian and Claire Darbyshire had lived for a number of years, means it is difficult to fully understand their precise situation. However, after considering all of the evidence in this case the jury returned a unanimous verdict of murder which has been welcomed by the remaining family of Brian Darbyshire.

Comments have been turned off on this article as sentencing is pending. 

Read: An Irish person was arrested every four hours in London last year

Also: Rolf Harris to be charged with seven counts of indecent assault

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