Carrie Slater: 'Controlling' killer who shot partner in head jailed

A man who fatally shot his partner and then claimed she had injured herself on a pool cue has been jailed for life.

Richard Basson blasted Carrie Slater in the head with a pistol at their home in Long Clawson, Leicestershire, but "absurdly" told police she had walked onto the cue he was jabbing at her.

Basson denied murdering Ms Slater but was convicted after a trial at Leicester Crown Court.

Judge Martin Spencer said he had told a "web of lies" to conceal his actions.

The 45-year-old was ordered serve a minimum of 32 years in prison when he was sentenced on Wednesday.

The court heard Basson, a heroin addict, shot at Ms Slater, 37, twice at close range during an argument at their home on 21 September last year, using a semi-automatic hand gun he was illegally looking after for an associate.

His first shot missed her, causing her to duck and flinch, but his second stuck her in the front of the head inflicting a devastating brain injury.

The judge said Basson had tried to conceal his crime, retrieving a bullet lodged in a wall and hiding it, along with the gun, in the garden of the couple's bungalow.

He said Basson had also wiped down surfaces to try to cover up his actions before calling 999.

Ms Slater was taken to hospital where medics established she had suffered a gunshot wound.

She died two days later, the court heard.

The judge said Basson told officers a "plethora of lies" and falsely claimed she had attacked him with a knife.

"It seems likely you and Carrie had an argument and you over-reacted and lost your temper," the judge said.

"You may have thought, absurdly, that the bullet, if retrieved, could be a match for the brassy end of a pool cue."

He told Basson: "You spun a web of lies. You were motivated by saving your own skin rather than any concern for Carrie."

Mr Spencer said Basson had been "coercive, dominant and controlling" towards Ms Slater throughout their relationship which began in 2017.

"The sad fact is when she moved in with you, she started to lose contact with her family," the judge said.

"You were not a good influence on her. Your relationship was dysfunctional, and at times violent on your part."

In a statement read to the court, Ms Slater's half-sister, Claire Slater, said: "Carrie was such a fun, loving, young lady.

"Her life didn't have to end this way.

"She was loved by so many. Carrie will never ever be forgotten."

Ms Slater's other half-sister, Louanne Leonardi, said the family had been devastated by her death and that she had suffered flashbacks of the moment police informed her of the death.

'Horrendous case'

Basson had earlier admitted a charge of possessing a firearm illegally and received a six year sentence.

He also admitted having ammunition without a certificate and was given 30 months in custody.

He will serve the terms concurrently.

Following the sentencing hearing, Det Insp Emma Matts, of Leicestershire Police, said: "My thought and condolences go out to Carrie family and loved ones. I know they are struggling to understand why she was killed.

"Only Basson knows why he did what he did. He claimed to love her but has never fully explained his actions.

"While no sentence will ever bring Carrie, I am pleased Basson has been brought to justice for this horrendous case."

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