Husband who murdered wife and disabled daughter in Suffolk 'likely to die in prison'

Peter Nash and Louise Nash and Jillu Nash.
Credit: Suffolk Police
Jillu Nash and her 12-year-old daughter Louise were found dead at home on 8 September. Credit: Family photo

A husband who strangled his wife and then tried to gas himself with his disabled daughter will probably die behind bars, said a judge as he jailed him.

After he killed his wife Jillu, Peter Nash then stabbed his autistic daughter Louise and attempted to take his own life before police turned up at their home in Suffolk on 8 September.

A jury took two hours to find him guilty of both their murders, after a trial in which Nash, defending himself, tried to argue that the victims were his "property".

On Wednesday, Nash, 47, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 40 years.

The bodies of Mrs Nash, 43, and her 12-year-old daughter were discovered at their home in Heath Estate in Great Waldingfield, near Sudbury.

The judge Mr Justice Edward Murray told him: “Even if you live a long life it is likely you will die in prison due to your age."

Following sentencing, Mrs Nash's family set up a tribute display on the court steps with candles and photographs, and spent a moment of reflection in their memory.

Family of Jillu and Louise Nash holding photographs outside court after their killer Peter Nash was jailed. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The judge said Nash “attempted to justify these murders with relation to a deeply flawed set of beliefs about the law that you’ve got from internet searches”.

He said the defendant had shown no remorse for the killings.

Mrs Nash’s mother Dhruti Shah, who was also Louise’s grandmother, fought back tears as she read her victim impact statement in court.

She described her daughter as a “brilliant mum” with a “beautiful smile” and a “positive attitude towards life”.

“She always did the best by her beautiful daughter Lou,” said Mrs Shah.

She said that “losing my girls was like losing one’s breath”.

Mrs Shah described Nash as a “living human monster”, adding: “He took life like they were toys in his hands.”

She described him as “evil beyond belief”, weeping as she told of how her daughter was a “petite woman and how a little non-verbal child went to sleep innocently to never wake up again”.

A tribute to Jillu and Louise Nash was set up on the court steps by their family. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Nash, who represented himself in court, was dismissive of the victim impact statements read in court, saying from the secure dock: “It’s BS and I knew them better.”

He added: “It was not premeditated, it was already predetermined.”

The judge said Mrs Nash was a “loving and devoted mother” to autistic Louise.

He said Louise was a “happy and cheerful girl who inspired great affection in those who knew her”.

Nash showed no visible reaction as his sentence was read out and he used his walking frame to head down to the cells, as family members of Mrs Nash wept in the public gallery.

Police blocked off the entrance to Heath Estate in Great Waldingfield as they investigated. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The trial had previously been told that the couple had had an unhappy marriage, and that Mrs Nash had been planning to leave her husband and set up home with a work colleague with whom she had been having a relationship.

The family had moved to Suffolk from Leicester in 2018.

Suffolk Police said Nash's defence had “rested on his belief that he 'lawfully killed’ his wife and daughter”.

“His attempts to justify this were through his interpretation of common law, property and marriage vows,” said a spokesman.

Nash “believed he ‘lawfully killed’ Louise as she was his ‘property’ and he did it to protect her because he did not trust anyone else to look after her" because she had complex care needs due to being non-verbal and diagnosed as autistic, said police.

After strangling his wife, he then stuffed an old t-shirt into her mouth. He then tried to gas himself with his daughter but when that failed, he stabbed her once in the stomach and turned the knife on himself.

He was arrested at the scene, after being Tasered by police on the bed where his daughter's body lay.

He then spent more than a month in hospital being treated for his injuries, before he could be questioned over the murders.

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