Lyng: Man Convicted Over Parents Deaths

10 November 2011, 07:15 | Updated: 10 November 2011, 07:29

A man has admitted killing his parents at their home in Lyng in Norfolk six years ago.

59-year-old Terence Dunkley from Norwich, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter at Norwich Crown Court.

On Sunday 12 June 2005 a family member called police concerned for the welfare of Arthur and Marguerite Dunkley after Mrs Dunkley had failed to turn up to meet her. A further call was received from a second relative of Mr and Mrs Dunkley, and when officers attended their home in Manor Close in Lyng they found their bodies.

Terence Dunkley was arrested at the property and taken into custody. A post mortem examination found his parents, aged 83 and 80, both died as a result of multiple injuries; Dunkley had stamped on them before piling furniture on top of them.

On Wednesday 15th of June 2005 Terence Dunkley was charged with two counts of murder and appeared before magistrates in King's Lynn where he was remanded to a secure hospital. On Friday 23 June 2006 he denied the charges at Norwich Crown Court.

He was later deemed unfit to stand trial after being assessed by psychiatrists; he was suffering from schizophrenia. The evidence was presented to a jury who were asked to establish whether he killed his parents, and their verdict on Friday 6th October 2005 was that he did. The judge ruled that he should be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Following treatment and rehabilitation, earlier this summer 2011 Dunkley was deemed fit to stand trial, and the Crown Prosecution Service directed that he should be charged with two counts of manslaughter. Dunkley was produced to Norwich Crown Court to enter a plea. He was convicted of two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He received an indefinite sentence under section 37 of the Mental Heath Act, to be held in a secure unit of a mental health establishment until such time as a medical assessment determines he could be released. At this time, under a section 41 restriction, the Secretary of State will review his case for parole.

Detective Inspector Marie James of the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team said: "This was a tragic event, and Arthur and Marguerite Dunkley’s family and friends have had a very long wait to see this case concluded. Our sympathies remain with them and I hope that today’s conviction will help bring some closure after six and a half years.

This was a lengthy and complex inquiry for the Major Investigation Team, notwithstanding the fact that the case came to court twice. Officers and staff spent many months piecing together evidence, seeking expert medical opinion, using the latest forensic techniques and working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that Terence Dunkley was eventually brought to justice."