Derby

Squatter killed Sandra Bainbridge in her own home

Sandra Bainbridge Image copyright Handout
Image caption Sandra Bainbridge had worked as a civil servant for Derby Homes, and had three daughters and five granddaughters

A squatter who stabbed a grandmother to death when she returned home from holiday has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Andrea Cutler carried on living at Sandra Bainbridge's cottage in Belper, Derbyshire, after she had killed the 70-year-old in December 2013.

Cutler, 39, from Derby, has a long history of mental illness.

She was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Sentencing her at Nottingham Crown Court, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said: "Clearly this defendant is very dangerous.

"She presents a serious risk of harm to the public. Her mental illness contributed largely to this terrible crime."

He gave her a hospital order with no time limit.

The prosecution and defence psychiatrists believe she was suffering from schizoaffective psychosis, a severe mental illness, at the time of the killing.

Image copyright Police mugshot
Image caption Andrea Cutler admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

She had a list of criminal convictions, including assaulting her ex-partner and his mother, and an unprovoked attack on a woman who had walked out of a city centre department store.

Prior to killing Ms Bainbridge, she had most recently been in court on 3 December 2013, charged with harassing a woman she had been to school with.

She told psychiatrists she was jealous of Amelia Horne who ran a successful cafe in Derby called Jack Rabbits.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Andrea Cutler had been in court for harassing the owner of Jack Rabbits, a cafe in Derby

Cutler repeatedly went to the cafe where she would shout and swear at Ms Horne, even threatening to stab her to death.

She left the magistrates court and failed to return after the hearing was adjourned for her to speak to a probation officer about a psychiatric assessment.

Shaun Smith QC, prosecuting, said this "set in train a series of events that would lead to the senseless and brutal killing of Sandra Bainbridge".

Having absconded Cutler returned to her own home in Derby, packed two rucksacks and walked to Belper.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Andrea Cutler walked about eight miles from her home in Derby to Sandra Bainbridge's cottage in Belper
Image caption Andrea Cutler carried on living in Sandra Bainbridge's cottage in Belper after killing her

She claimed to have slept rough in an "old man's garden" before finding Ms Bainbridge's cottage in Short Row and treating it as her own.

She used her credit card to buy food and even changed the landline phone number.

Ms Bainbridge returned from Turkey on 9 December 2013, after a week with her friend, Derek Joyner.

Cutler then attacked the pensioner, stabbing her repeatedly to the head, face and vagina.

A post-mortem examination suggested Ms Bainbridge was alive for up to 35 minutes after the attack before eventually losing consciousness.

Cutler took Ms Bainbridge's car and drove to Derby, then returned to the house and tried to clean up the blood using a mop and a dressing gown.

After hiding her body under a duvet in the garden, she remained at the dead woman's home and continued using her car.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Police believe more than one knife was used in the attack
Image copyright Police handout
Image caption A knife was found in Sandra Bainbridge's car, which Andrea Cutler used after killing her

Concerned when he could not contact his friend by phone, Mr Joyner went to the house late on 10 December.

He found Cutler upstairs and challenged her, but she tried to attack him and chased him out of the house.

Mr Joyner phoned the police, who found Ms Bainbridge's body.

Cutler had fled to Greater Manchester, where she was arrested.

She told police: "I didn't enjoy it, I didn't want to do it, it's just an event that happened, that I was really unlucky.

"I'm lucky that Mr Joyner didn't get murdered, manslaughtered, well whatever comes out of this, as well."

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Police found a knife in Sandra Bainbridge's garden, where her body was hidden under a duvet

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