Longton pensioner's killer admits manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility after court told she has schizophrenia

A woman who stabbed a 75-year-old man to death will be sentenced on April 1.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 12:30 pm

Raymond Conlan, 75, died shortly after being found with serious injuries to his head and body at a house in Cedar Grove in Longton, near Preston,

Paramedics were called to the scene at around 3.50am on March 6 and tried to treat his knife injuries.

A Home Office post mortem examination confirmed Mr Conlan's death was due to stab injuries.

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The scene of the tragedy

Elizabeth Birtwistle, 32, of no fixed address, was arrested and later detained under the Mental Health Act.

The defendant, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, entered a not guilty plea to his murder, but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Psychiatric reports will now be prepared ahead of her expected sentencing at Preston Crown Court, and it is expected a practitioner will give evidence about her condition at that hearing.

Judge Robert Altham, the Honorary Recorder of Preston, explained he had considered medical reports and that the court would only accept a plea of this nature where there was "clear and persuasive evidence" about a defendant's diminished responsibility.

He accepted she had an "abnormality of mind" which arose from a medical condition which substantially impaired her ability to understand the nature of the action she carried out, form a rational judgement, or exercise self control.

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