Woman who killed bedridden father jailed for four years

Claire Darbyshire, 36, killed 67-year-old Brian at their home in Dagenham last year Credit: Metropolitan Police

A woman who killed her bedridden father because of his "intolerable" multiple sclerosis has been jailed for at least four years.

Claire Darbyshire, 36, suffocated 67-year-old Brian with a plastic bag at their home in Wykeham Green, Dagenham, east London, on September 2 last year.

In a trial at the Old Bailey, a jury rejected her claims that they had made a "suicide pact" and found her guilty of murder last month.

Mr Darbyshire, a retired Ford stock controller, had not expressed any suicidal thoughts or complained about being in pain to nurses who visited him, the court was told.

Sentencing her to life in prison with a minimum term of four years today, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: "You know that you had committed a crime."

A jury at the Old Bailey found Darbyshire guilty of murdering her bedridden father Credit: PA

Widower Brian Darbyshire developed MS in 1995 and in 2014, his daughter took over as his sole carer. Jurors were told that she had complained to a friend about the stress of looking after him.

After the killing, Darbyshire texted a district nurse to visit "asap" and travelled to the White Cliffs of Dover, where she sought help.

She first mentioned the suicide pact to police five days later.

On the morning of September 10 - eight days after the killing - police discovered Mr Darbyshire's body in his bed with a suit, teddy bear and his daughter's handwritten notes nearby.

Darbyshire, who is pre-operative transgender, spent five months on remand in a men's prison awaiting trial.