Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham attack led to cancer patient's early death

Paul Storm Blueitt Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Paul Storm Blueitt will serve at least 27 years in prison

A robber who carried out a "horrendous" attack on a cancer patient has been jailed for life for her murder.

Paul Storm Blueitt, 36, assaulted Judith Ducker during the raid at a newsagents in Rotherham on 1 September.

Police said the injuries stopped Mrs Ducker receiving treatment for breast cancer and she died prematurely from the disease in hospital a month later.

Blueitt, of Cambridge Crescent, Rotherham, was convicted after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

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Det Sgt Andy Shields said 64-year-old Mrs Ducker was left with a fractured skull, a fractured eye socket, multiple head lacerations and bruising to the brain following a "horrendous assault".

Det Sgt Shields added: "The consequence of this assault, was that Judith would never be well enough to receive further cancer treatment and after being taken to hospital, a CT head scan revealed that Judith's breast cancer had spread to her brain.

"Such were her head injuries that further cancer treatment could not be given to her and she sadly died in hospital on 20 October last year. She died from the breast cancer that had spread to her brain."

Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Judith Ducker died in hospital after the attack prevented her from receiving cancer treatment

South Yorkshire Police said Blueitt was initially charged with attempted murder but after Mrs Ducker's death, the charge was upgraded to murder, following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The prosecution case was that the serious head injuries caused by Blueitt prevented Mrs Ducker from receiving vital cancer treatment and resulted in her premature death.

Blueitt was also found guilty of robbery and will have to serve a minimum of 27 years in prison.

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