A 56-Year-Old woman has been jailed for 13 years after killing her 60-year-old friend by pushing her down the stairs in a row over £200 owed for a canceled Moroccan holiday.
Rosalind Gray who picture on a mobility scooter with a brick in one hand, a walking stick in the other and a cigarette balanced between her teeth once trended was owing grandmother Linda Rainey £200 after their trip to Marrakesh was canceled because of a flight mix-up.
The two women exchanged messages in which Ms. Rainey asked for her money back and Gray called her a ‘nasty old troll’.
The jury was made aware of some of the 5,493 text messages exchanged between Gray and Ms. Rainey from December 24, 2018, until July 31 last year.
These texts contained a large number of their argument and they again argued when they unexpectedly met up at the home of mutual friend Adrian Lawrence, 54, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
Norwich Crown Court heard how the row led to Gray pushing Ms. Rainey in the chest at the top of the stairs so she went flying backward and landing at the bottom with a fatal brain injury.
The mother-of-five died two days later on August 7 last year without regaining consciousness after having her life support turned off in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
Gray of Great Yarmouth and Lawrence set out to pretend her death was an accident and tried to silence a witness Emma Walker who had been in the flat. However, Ms. Walker was able to talk to the police three days after her death on August 10 and revealed what happened.
The 56-Year-Old was cleared of murder, but a jury took less than two hours to find her guilty of manslaughter at an earlier trial.
The woman and her male friend Lawrence were also convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between August 5 and August 12 last year.
Judge Stephen Holt gave Gray an extended sentence of 13 years in prison followed by four years on licence, and jailed Lawrence for 38 months.
The court heard Gray had seven previous convictions for 25 offenses including arson with intent to endanger life for which she received a 10-year jail term in 2010.
The judge upheld that the suspect was was ‘entirely responsible’ for the death of Ms. Rainey and insisted she ‘couldn’t care less’ about it.
He told her ‘it should have been blindingly obvious to you that pushing someone backward downstairs was high risk.’
Judge Holt described Lawrence as the ‘main mover’ in trying to cover up the killing and hailed the bravery of witness Ms. Walker who came forward to police despite being pressurized to stay quiet.
He added that both defendants had shown a ‘complete lack of empathy and remorse’.
Ms. Rainey’s daughter Louise Pierce read a victim impact statement on behalf of her family, describing how her mother had been ‘snatched from us’ and that ‘losing her has been so painful’.
The deceased’s daughter has been weeping and said the sight of her mother in hospital would stay with her forever and questioned how the defendants – who were supposed to have been her friends – could act as they did.
Ms. Pierce said: ‘It breaks my heart that I will never get to call her to ask her advice on anything, whether it’s to do with my daughter or how to make Yorkshire puddings, something I always got wrong without her reminders!’
She added that her family also had the ‘trauma’ of having to go through two trials after the jury had to be discharged in the first trial earlier this year.
The trial heard how the 56-year-old and Lawrence had told Ms. Walker to hide in another room when paramedics arrived to treat Ms. Rainey as she ‘couldn’t be trusted to stay quiet’.
They later threatened her to keep quiet at a meeting in a pub, but she found the courage to come forward.