Lowestoft: Woman Admits Killing Father

17 December 2015, 12:17

A woman with serious mental health problems has admitted killing her elderly father at his home in Lowestoft.

53-year-old Karen Kimber pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at the Central Criminal Court in London today. 

Tests show her dad, 89-year-old Dennis Nicholls, had been strangled to death.

Mr Nicholls called police to the property in Kirkley Run just after 8.50pm on Wednesday 19 November last year saying his daughter was trying to hurt him.

The first officer arrived at the scene and found Karen Kimber in a distressed state in the street being restrained by members of the public. She was heard by police and witnesses to say 'I've killed him'. 

Additional officers arrived to assist and went to the address where they found Mr Nicholls, with serious head injuries and unresponsive. 

Kimber was arrested on suspicion of GBH and was conveyed to the Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre. 

Paramedics and police officers began CPR on Mr Nicholls but he died at his home a short time later. A Home Office post mortem gave the cause of death as compression of the neck by manual strangulation. 

Kimber, who had lived at the property with Mr Nicholls, repeatedly told police officers 'I've killed him' and was subsequently formally arrested on suspicion of murder. She then underwent a mental health assessment and was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to an appropriate hospital. 

She has been assessed by two psychiatrists who were both of the opinion she was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the killing and her guilty plea has been accepted. 

The judge has issued a hospital order detaining her into the care of medical professionals. 

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward said; "This was a tragedy for the family and it's now clear that the balance of Karen Kimber's mind was disturbed at the time. Witnesses described Karen behaving in a bizzare manner in the street immediately after the incident and on route to custody her behaviour caused concern to the officers transporting her.

"As a result of her assessment she was detained under the Mental Health Act . Whist detained her conditioned improved sufficiently for her to be interviewed in respect of the offence and she was then summonsed to court to face a murder charge. Following in depth psychiatric assessments and liaison with Mr Nicholls family the manslaughter by diminished responsibility plea has been accepted and the judge has issued a hospital order, which means she will be detained until doctors consider her mental health to be stable."

A Domestic Homicide Review is in progress being led by Waveney Community Safety Partnership.