Elderly man bludgeons partner to death with hammer after argument over the doona

Mel Buttigieg

An elderly British man has been sentenced to life behind bars, after bludgeoning his ‘nagging’ partner to death with a hammer as she slept.

The court heard Edgar Fairhurst, of Bideford in the UK, struck his partner Marjorie Elphick, 83, with around 10 times as she lay in bed on 30 December last year.

The court heard had Fairhurst, 74, was fed up with his partner of 40 years, and the pair had a fight about straightening the doona the night of Ms Airburst’s murder.

Fairhurst told police the woman “goaded and irritated” him for years, the Mirror reported.

“She was nagging and would not stop going on and on,” he said.

Marjorie Elphick, 83, was struck with a hammer as she slept. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

The Judge said Ms Elphick was “oblivious” to Fairhurst’s intentions after the argument, as the “defenseless” woman lay asleep on her pillow as she was attacked.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 20 years, at Exeter Crown Court on Thursday, after a four-day trail.

Following the sentence, Detective Inspector Sharon Donald, Senior Investigating Officer from the Major Crime Investigation Team, said Marjorie Elphick suffered a fatal “unprovoked, violent and sustained attack in her own bed”.

“(Ms Elphick) was an independent, active lady that was dearly loved by her son, niece, relatives and friends,” she said.

Ms Elphick’s family called her a “kind and vivacious woman” in a statement released via police.


“We have been devastated by her loss as she was not only a vibrant member of her community, and valued by her many friends, but was someone who meant a great deal to the four generations of our small family.

“Although she was 83, she was a healthy, active person with the promise of many more full years in front of her.

“This life has been cruelly cut short, and it will be very difficult for our family to envisage life without her."

News break – June 24