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Doncaster woman goes on trial accused of murdering step-grandfather in Christmas Day stabbing

Michael Eaton was found dead at his Doncaster home on Boxing Day last year
Michael Eaton was found dead at his Doncaster home on Boxing Day last year

A Doncaster pensioner was stabbed in the back nearly 100 times and hit with his own walking stick in a fatal Christmas Day attack, a court heard.

Lindsey Fletcher admits unlawfully killing 72-year-old Michael Eaton - her step-grandfather and the man she says sexually abused her as a child - at the home they shared in Low Road, Balby, but does not accept murdering him.

At the opening of Fletcher's trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, jurors were told how after initially refusing to answer any questions under police interview, Fletcher eventually told detectives that Eaton 'persistently' attempted to sexually assault her again on Christmas Day last year.

She said this led to her 'reverting back to childhood' and the abuse she suffered at his hands, causing her to pick up the nearest object to her and kill him with it.

Prosecutor, Dafydd Enoch QC, urged the jury of seven men and five women to reject Fletcher's account.

He said Fletcher, 38, often told people she loathed Mr Eaton and wanted to kill him, and had been researching methods of poisoning on the internet.

He said: "The Prosecution say the deceased did not try to sexually assault her on that day, he wouldn't have dared, if he had tried such a thing she would have got the better of him. In reality, they probably had some form of argument, which resulted in a typical loss of temper from her."

Describing how Mr Eaton lost his life, Mr Enoch told the court: "He was beaten over the head with a blunt instrument or instruments which almost certainly included his own walking stick which had been his own father's.

"He was also stabbed in the face, head and neck and he was stabbed in the back nearly 100 times."

"He may have put up a bit of a struggle, but not much. He didn't have a chance."

After killing Mr Eaton, which is believed to have taken place between 10am and 4.30pm, Fletcher cut his clothes off with scissors and doused him with bleach.

She then disposed of his clothes at a nearby waste site and in the river, while her 12-year-old daughter was with her.

Mr Eaton's body was found at his home by another of his step-granddaughters on Boxing Day last year.

Mr Enoch told the court that Fletcher was a drug addict and went to live with Mr Eaton, despite their history, and even though she had a flat of her own in Doncaster.

"She had a hold over Mr Eaton and used the fact that he had abused her as a child to milk him for money in order to feed her drugs habit," said Mr Enoch, adding: "She ruled the roost".

Mr Enoch added: "If he did abuse her when she was a child it was unforgivable and disgusting but it does not entitled the defendant to kill him in cold blood."

He said: "No-one in law is entitled to end a life in that way."

Fletcher, of St James's Street, Hyde Park, Doncaster, denies murder but admits manslaughter.

The trial continues.