Schizophrenic Killer Given Life After Murdering Grandmother With A Hammer

A man has been given a life sentence at Preston Crown Court after brutally murdering a woman with a hammer.

Shaun Sanders killed Leanne Unsworth in an ‘unprovoked brutal and frenzied assault’, according to Lancashire Police.

Leanne, a 40-year-old grandmother from Burnley, was found deceased at her home address on Marlborough Street in Burnley at around 7:15pm on Monday, January 14th.

Sanders, also a 40-year-old, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility earlier this year. The plea was accepted by the Crown following consideration of comprehensive psychiatric evidence.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said, “It was agreed that at the time of the attack Sanders was suffering a psychotic episode; he having, for some time, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

“He was sentenced today (Monday, December 2nd) to a life sentence with a minimum term of 4years 48days, although the trial judge said there was a possibility he would never be released.

“Sanders was also given a Hospital Order which means he will start his sentence at Ashworth high security psychiatric hospital and will remain there until he is deemed fit to be transferred to prison to continue his sentence.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo, of the Force Major Investigation Team, added, “On the 14th January 2019, Leanne Unsworth, was at home at Marlborough Street, Burnley, when she was the victim of an unprovoked brutal and frenzied attack of the utmost ferocity by the defendant. He struck her multiple times about the head with a hammer, fracturing her skull, damaging her brain and ultimately killing her.

“The plea of manslaughter was only accepted after careful consideration of comprehensive psychiatric evidence and it’s clear that at the time of the attack Sanders was suffering a psychotic episode. He cannot be released until the Parole Board is convinced that he is no longer a risk to the public.

“I would like to thank Leanne’s family for the dignity with which they have conducted themselves throughout these proceedings. I would also like to thank the community in Burnley for their co-operation and support. I know Leanne’s death had a huge impact on all those who knew and loved her.”

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