Father jailed for murder of teenage daughter

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The Independent Online

A father who brutally stabbed his daughter to death had convictions for knife attacks and violence going back to his teens, a court heard today.

Gary Fisher, 48, turned on teenage daughter Chanelle Sasha Jones as she sat in the passenger seat of his car in August last year.



Fisher then drove around west Wales with the blood-soaked corpse of the 17-year-old in his car for 10 hours until stopped by police.



A jury took just one hour to find him guilty of murder after a lengthy trial at Swansea Crown Court which concluded on March 10.



Mr Justice Lloyd Jones jailed him for life today and ordered that he serve a minimum 20 year term before being eligible for parole.



Passing sentence he told Fisher: "You have been convicted of the murder of your daughter Sasha Jones. This is the most appalling waste of a young life.



"A pointless death which will leave a permanent shadow on the lives of her family and friends and the effects and knowledge of what you have done should shame you for the rest of your life."



Fisher stood nodding his head in apparent agreement with the judge's comments as sentence was passed at Swansea Crown Court today.



As he was taken away he nodded to the judge and said "Thank you."



Earlier the judge had heard that Fisher, of Kents Close, Solihull, West Midlands, had a violent past which went back to the age of 17.



It included a knife attack, a hammer attack and the killing of a cat and the removal of its head to intimidate a female victim.





Christopher Clee QC, prosecuting, outlined Fisher's previous convictions for the court.

The first was for actual bodily harm and possessing a weapon for which he was fined at Solihull Magistrates' Court in August 1979 aged 17.



A year later he attacked a girl with a 35in (89cm) lathe chain he had been using as a belt, convicted of wounding and jailed for three months.



In February 1985 he was convicted of three counts of criminal damage and one of theft relating to the family of a previous girlfriend.



In the same year he was jailed for 12 months after "taking offence against a young woman".



Mr Clee said Fisher began by painting white crosses on the front door of the woman's home.



He then stole a headstone from a local graveyard and left it outside her house.



Mr Clee added: "He also put the head of a cat he had killed outside the house."



He said that while in prison Fisher was at some point transferred to Ashworth Secure Mental Health Unit and was eventually released some time in 1987.



Two years later he was given a three-month suspended sentence at Solihull Magistrates' Court for a wounding incident.



He was also jailed for six months in 1992 for trying to force a previous girlfriend out of her workplace using a hunting knife.









The murder of his teenage daughter came after what appeared to have been a period of calm in Fisher's life.

He was estranged from his three children when he re-established contact with them five years before the murder.



At the time of the killing, more than a decade and a half had passed since he had had any involvement with the courts.



When he killed his daughter in August last year he had been in west Wales for more than a week organising camping trips and taking the children on visits.



To all outward appearances he looked like a father working hard to re-establish contact with his children.



But in the early hours of August 2 he drove his daughter in his Ford Fiesta to the car park of the Angel Inn, near her home in Cardigan, and stabbed her to death. She suffered a total of 22 wounds, including defensive injuries to her hands to her chest and head.



He told police she had struggled when he surprised her in the passenger seat of his car with a knife.



Later he refused to comment during formal interviews with a defence barrister present.



Fisher also refused to give evidence in his defence during the trial but had claimed his daughter wanted to die because she had been raped.



He claimed they had agreed a suicide pact as a consequence and he had been carrying out his daughter's wishes.



He admitted manslaughter of his daughter but claimed it was not murder, using the failed suicide pact as a partial defence.



The judge rejected any idea today that Fisher's brief version of events bore any truth.



He said the evidence during the trial suggested his daughter was looking forward to the future despite suffering a rape ordeal.



The judge described Fisher's defence as "an obvious and wicked lie".



He added that as the father of the victim Fisher's actions were "in my judgment an appalling abuse of trust".



Turning to the teenager's family, the judge said: "They have had a great deal to bear.



"Their burden has been made more painful because of the false accusations made by the defendant."