Man given life for battering daughter

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The Independent Online
A FATHER was jailed for life yesterday for murdering his daughter by battering her with a hammer at their home.

As Derek Fleming was led from the dock to begin his sentence, on his 52nd birthday, relatives wept in the court.

A jury of six men and five women took three-and-a-half hours unanimously to find Fleming guilty of murdering his daughter, Linda, 23, a trainee pharmacist, at Elland, West Yorkshire, on 22 January last year. The joinery firm manager admitted manslaughter but denied murder.

The judge at Leeds Crown Court, Mr Justice Tucker, told him: 'Something happened that morning which caused you to batter your daughter over the head nine times with a hammer. The jury rejected your contention it was something she said or did that provoked you to act in that way.'

Benjamin Nolan QC, for the prosecution, had told the jury that Fleming bludgeoned his daughter to death with a lump hammer in the utility room of their home. She was struck nine times.

He then bundled her body into a bag and later dumped it on remote moorland. It was found for nine days.

During the hunt, Fleming took part in a televised news conference where he pleaded for her to return home. Fleming denied attempting to strangle his daughter and said he did not fully recollect the events surrounding her death.

He also denied killing her after she discovered he was having an affair and was planning to run away to Spain with Ann Dearden, his mistress.