Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Woman admits killing pensioner during stabbings inside Co-op store

A woman has admitted killing an “extremely respected and liked” pensioner during a series of stabbings inside a store earlier this year.

Zara Anne Radcliffe, 30, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of John Rees by reason of diminished responsibility. She had denied murder.

The 88-year-old – who has been described by his family as the “very definition of a good man” – died after suffering severe facial injuries in the attack while shopping at a Co-op supermarket in Wales during lockdown.

Radcliffe also admitted the attempted murders of Andrew Price, Gaynor Saurin and Lisa Way, who were all injured in the incident in the village of Pen y Graig, Rhondda, on 5 May.

The defendant, from Porth, entered her pleas during a brief hearing at Merthyr Crown Court.

She appeared via videolink from Rampton high-security hospital in Nottinghamshire, where she is currently detained.

Michael Jones QC, prosecuting, told the court the pleas were acceptable to the crown as Radcliffe was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the incident.

Radcliffe will be sentenced on Wednesday at Merthyr Crown Court.

Mr Jones told the court the psychiatric evidence “demonstrates at the time of the offending Miss Radcliffe was profoundly mentally ill and unwell”.

An inquest previously heard Mr Rees, who lived in the nearby village of Trealaw with his wife Eunice, died at the scene.

He was attacked by Radcliffe inside the store as his wife waited for him outside, sitting in their car.

In a statement after his death, his family said: “John was the very definition of a good man, extremely respected and liked in the community.

“He was proud of his family, proud to be a Welshman and devoted to All Saints Church.

“We will all miss him terribly.”

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