Starvation murder – Oliver Saxby QC prosecuting

January 27, 2020

The trial of Lynda Rickard and others began this week at Reading Crown Court before Mr Justice Nicol. Lynda Rickard and her husband, Wayne Rickard, are charged with the murder of a 59-year old man called Anthony Sootheran whose house they were living in at the time. Mr Sootheran was a depressive prone to self-neglect whose death the Crown say the Rickards caused by isolating him and then starving him to death.

After he died, Lynda Rickard produced a will apparently drafted by Anthony Sootheran by which she stood to inherit substantially. In fact, she had forged this will – as she had also forged Anthony Sootheran’s mother’s will two years earler. She had also used both their bank accounts as her own, helping herself to large amounts of their money over a prolonged period; and she had forged various other legal documents.

There are three other defendants on trial – Shanda Robinson, Denise Neal and Michael Dunkley – who face charges relating to the creation of the two forged wills. The case is of great factual complexity and involves extensive accountancy, handwriting and pathological/geriatric expert evidence.

Oliver Saxby QC is leading Jane Brady of Cornwall Street Chambers and Sarita Basra of CPS Thames Chiltern. They are instructed by Robbie Weber, CPS Thames Chiltern CCU.

Please use the links below for news coverage of the case:-

BBC News

The Guardian

The Mirror

The Daily Mail

The Daily Telegraph

The Sun

The Independent

The Daily Express

The Metro

The Times

Sky News