South West Wales

Betty Guy murder: Daughter and grandson jailed for life

Barry Rogers and Penelope John Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police

The daughter and grandson of an 84-year-old woman have been jailed for life for her murder.

Barry Rogers and Penelope John plied Betty Guy with drugs and alcohol before suffocating her to death at her Pembrokeshire home in 2011.

Rogers, 33, and his 50-year-old mother John will serve a minimum of 11 years before they are eligible for parole.

Sentencing them at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Clive Lewis QC said the pair had "never accepted responsibility".

A statement from Mrs Guy's other daughter Lorraine Matthews, which was read out in court, said her mother "loved life" and "was no way ill enough to warrant a mercy [killing]".

"We grieved once over her death and now we have to go through a different grief," she said.

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Media captionMrs Guy's friend Mary Johnson described her as a "happy, jolly person"

Ms Matthews said she was "shocked that a member of my own family is capable of committing such a despicable act on an old lady".

It was thought Mrs Guy, from Johnston, near Haverfordwest, had died of natural causes and her death was put down to broncho-pneumonia, septicaemia and hypertensive heart disease.

She was then cremated four days after her death in November 2011.

However, in 2015 police were alerted to the fact she was murdered after Rogers' ex-partner Sandra Adams came forward.

She told officers he had admitted being involved in the death of his grandmother together with his mother, by "putting a pillow over her face".

Image copyright Dyfed Powys Police
Image caption Mrs Guy's death was originally put down to natural causes and her body was cremated four days later

The trial heard Rogers told three former partners he had killed Mrs Guy by suffocating her.

Dyfed-Powys Police placed a recording device in John's home in St Dogmaels after the pair were arrested on suspicion of murder in October 2016.

The recordings heard Rogers tell his mother: "But I did it... no honestly, you have got nothing to worry about. It's me that's the one that's done the act."

During the trial, John had described the relationship with her mother as "amazing" and told the jury "my mother was my life".

The court also heard Mrs Guy was an unwell woman but she did not have a terminal illness.

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Media captionLorraine Matthews, Mrs Guy's daughter, said the family was "satisfied that justice had prevailed"

Sentencing them, the judge added: "On the evidence, you believed Mrs Guy was old and ill and wanted to die; that was a wrong and misguided belief.

"She was in pain and had been prescribed a painkiller but there's no evidence at all to suggest that Mrs Guy was suffering unbearable pain.

"What you did was murder. Each of you is equally culpable. You both agreed to end the life of Mrs Guy."

Speaking after the sentencing, Ch Insp Steve Davies, from Dyfed-Powys Police, said the sentence provided some justice for Mrs Guy's family.

"The investigation into the actions of Barry Rogers and Penelope John took over two years and involved extensive inquiries and I would like to thank Mrs Guy's family for their support and cooperation during this extremely difficult time," he said.

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