Man, 46, who killed his neighbour, 87, with a cricket bat his jailed
Schizophrenic neighbour, 46, who bludgeoned retired musician, 87, to death with cricket bat while she picked herbs for a Sunday roast is jailed for life
- Guy Unmack saw Rosemary Hill collecting herbs for her Sunday lunch last June
- He ran up behind Mrs Hill and struck her over the head with a cricket bat
- Mrs Hill, 87, a retired musician and teacher, died five days after the attack
- Unmack was told by Guildford Crown Court he will serve at least 19 years in jail
Guy Unmack, pictured, was today jailed for life at Guildford Crown Court having been convicted of the murder of Rosemary Hill, 87, near her home in Reigate in June 2020
A man who beat his elderly neighbour to death with a cricket bat while she picked herbs for her Sunday roast has been jailed for life.
Guy Unmack, 46, left Rosemary Hill with catastrophic injuries following the attack in Reigate, Surrey on June 21, 2020.
Despite the best efforts of surgeons, the 87-year-old retired musician and teacher died five days after the assault.
Unmack, who pleaded not guilty to murder by reason of diminished responsibility on account of his schizophrenia, was found guilty by a jury at Guildford Crown Court.
The jury heard Unmack was standing in his own driveway when he saw Mrs Hill collecting herbs some 150 yards from her own home.
A witness told the court that Unmack picked up a cricket bat and raced down the road towards Mrs Hill, hitting her on the back of the head.
The court heard Unmack muttered he ‘wanted to have fun’ in the moments after the brutal assault.
Mrs Hill, who was still conscious, was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment, but died five days later.
Defence barrister Lionel Blackman told Judge Alexia Durran that Unmack had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2008 and had been under the care of the Reigate Community Mental Health team.
The victim’s daughter Deborah Zachery paid tribute to her mother: ‘Our mother was attacked on a quiet residential road 150 yards from her home.
‘The experience had a dramatic and chaotic impact on our work and personal lives. We never imagined there would be a murder in our family and especially that Rosemary would the victim.
Rosemary Hill, 87, was picking herbs for her Sunday lunch when Unmack approached her from behind with a cricket bat and smashed her over the head causing catastrophic injuries. Mrs Hill died five days later in hospital
‘We are very grateful to those who helped Mum as they gave her first aid. However, we will remember her as the kind and caring person she was and we will not allow her to be defined by her murder.’
The family also revealed their anger over mental health services which had not managed to prevent Unmack from attacking the pensioner. Ms Zachery explained: ‘It should not have happened and the circumstances should be considered so that it does not happen again.
‘Surrey Police and Surrey and Borders Partnership could have done much more to stop this and we hope that no other family will experience what we have again.’
The court heard that Unmack had attacked women before, including an elderly woman with who he had previously struck up a relationship.
Sentencing Unmack, Judge Durran told him: ‘The attack was unprovoked and you have never explained why you attacked Ms Hill.
‘The jury rejected the defence that you were experiencing a psychotic episode but I accept that a mental disorder has affected your life for over 20 years.
‘No sentence that this court can pass will replace the experiences Rosemary’s family has been through due to her death.’
Sentencing Unmack at Guildford Crown Court, pictured, Judge Durran told him: ‘The jury rejected the defence that you were experiencing a psychotic episode but I accept that a mental disorder has affected your life for over 20 years. No sentence that this court can pass will replace the experiences Rosemary’s family has been through due to her death’
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