Haverhill: Carer Guilty Of Murder

13 July 2012, 11:27 | Updated: 13 July 2012, 12:46

A carer has been found guilty of murdering a pensioner at home in Haverhill.

The body of 77 year old Paul Norfolk [pictured - below] was found on Friday 30th December 2011 at Castle Lane.

A Post Mortem examination revealed that he died from head injuries.

49-year-old Bunthawee Rimmer [pictured - above right], from Castle Lane in Haverhill, denied his murder but has been found guilty after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

She has been sentenced to life in prison, and been ordered to serve a minimum of 11 years in jail.

Mor Nofolk's brother called Police after not being able to contact his brother.

Police forced their way into the house and found Mr Nofolk dead in bed with Rimmer injured beside him.

Rimmer was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge with head injuries and was also found to be suffering from an overdose.

After she was released from hospital, Rimmer was arrested.

Rimmer had been living with Mr Norfolk since her husband died in 2010, and remained living with Mr Norfolk as a carer after Mrs Norfolk was admitted to a care home.

Mr Nofolk then changed his will to leave his house and assets to Rimmer.

Upon her arrest Rimmer made no comment to officers about the murder, but did disclose to a health worker that her injuries were self-inflicted and she claimed that she had been in an abusive relationship with Mr Norfolk. 

When interviewed by psychiatrists Rimmer claimed to have been suffering from depression and to have no memory of the incident. 

A post mortem examination found that Mr Norfolk died as a result of blunt force head injuries consistent with at least 12 strikes from a hammer.

On Tuesday 3 January 2012 Rimmer was charged with murder and appeared before Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court. 

On 16 March she denied murdering Mr Norfolk at Ipswich Crown Court, and following a two week long trial was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Jes Fry of the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team said: "The court has heard how Ms Rimmer took the life of a much-loved brother and godfather.

Sadly for the family and friends of Paul Norfolk, they were not able to hear why this happened from Rimmer herself. 

Whilst the weapons and medication packets found in the bedroom tell part of the story, we may never know exactly what happened before Mr Norfolk's death, though it would appear from his position that he was asleep when he was attacked.

Paul Norfolk

I would like to pass my sympathies to the family and friends of Paul Norfolk, and thank officers and staff for their hard work on this sad case."

The family of Paul Norfolk have released the following statement: "Paul was the youngest of a family of four and had a happy childhood in the village of Ridgewell. We were a happy and united family. Paul was a popular and well liked member of the community.

At eighteen years old, he joined the Tank Regiment and served in the army for three years. 

He was well-liked by his army friends and was still in touch with one of them at the time of his death.

For thirty years he was employed at IFF in Haverhill. 

Upon marriage he settled into his house in Castle Lane, where he was still living at the time of his death.

Paul was a very generous, kind and sympathetic man.

He was liked and respected by everyone who knew him especially by his neighbours and their children by whom he was affectionately called 'Uncle'. 

He was always ready to help others.

His brother and I (both in our eighties) are completely devastated by the wickedly cruel way in which our gentle, loving and much loved brother was taken from us. 

It was a blow from which we shall never recover. 

Our remaining years will be spent grieving for him, who brought joy and happiness into our lives and whom we shall always remember as our dearest Paul. 

With all our love, Peter and Pansy."