A man has been jailed for life after admitting killing his sister.
Gareth Hindmarsh, 35, of Tawney Crescent, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court today, Friday 6 November, after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
He received a life sentence, to serve a minimum of 22 and-a-half years.
Emergency services were called to Beckett Avenue, Meir, at around 1pm on Sunday 28 June, following the discovery of Linda Norcup’s body.
Sadly, Linda, aged 46, was pronounced dead at the scene and a murder investigation was launched. Detectives arrested Hindmarsh and he was later charged with Linda’s murder.
The court heard that on Saturday 27 June, Hindmarsh spent the evening drinking with Linda at her home in Beckett Avenue. He admitted that after leaving at around 11.50pm he went home and decided he was going to kill her.
Hindmarsh returned to Linda’s flat and strangled her using a piece of cord he had taken from his home as she slept in bed, he used such force that the cord snapped around her neck. He left the address in Beckett Avenue and returned home, on the way disposing of the cord in a nearby drain.
After a short time Hindmarsh returned to Linda and using plastic bags which he stretched into another ligature he again strangled her. He then moved Linda’s body from the bedroom into the bathroom and left her draped over the bath, he turned the taps on and left the property again to go home. The following lunchtime Hindmarsh returned to Linda’s body and called emergency services claiming to have just found her lifeless.
Hindmarsh was initially arrested on June 28 but, due to insufficient evidence to charge him, he was released on police bail while the investigation and evidence gathering continued. However, on Wednesday 1 July he returned to one of the force’s custody facilities to hand himself in and confessed to Linda’s murder. He was rearrested and subsequently charged with murder.
Linda’s family continue to receive support from specially-trained officers.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Giles, who led the inquiry, said: “Hindmarsh callously murdered Linda, his half-sister, in circumstances which would have been difficult to predict and prevent. He is an extremely dangerous man.
“Linda was a vulnerable lady who did not offer any hostility towards Hindmarsh and moreover was incapable of defending herself. Hindmarsh carefully managed every stage; Linda’s murder, her discovery and his admissions to the Police and to the Court.
“He has failed to show any remorse or give a clear explanation as to motive. Linda’s death has devastated the family and I hope a substantial term of imprisonment will give those who loved Linda the opportunity to come to terms with this tragic event.”
Linda’s family said “We have lost, in the most tragic of circumstances, the best mother, grandmother and sister that anyone could possibly have.
“It is of some comfort for us to know that the man responsible for murdering Linda is being punished. We can only hope that he will never be able to inflict such sadness or put any other family through such a horrific ordeal. He has robbed us of a lifetime with Linda.”