Video captures moment elderly woman wanders into home she mistakes for B&B before she is murdered
Footage from a doorbell camera shows the moment an elderly woman arrived at what she mistakenly believed was a B&B – shortly before she was murdered by the man who lived there.
Margaret Barnes was visiting Barmouth on Wales’s northwestern coast last July when she mistook her accommodation for the home of David Redfern, who lived several houses further down the same street.
Caernarfon Crown Court heard this week how the 71-year-old, who had been drinking alcohol, got into Redfern’s bed and was discovered by Redfern and his partner at 11pm, less than an hour after footage showed her arriving at the property.
Redfern, described by police outside the court as a “cowardly, vicious bully”, dragged the septuagenarian by her heels down the stairs and flung her out of the house, kicking or stamping on her – breaking three of her ribs and causing a catastrophic and unsurvivable injury to her liver.
The “much-loved” wife, mother and grandmother died on the pavement outside Redfern’s home on Marine Parade, the court heard.
Redfern denied murdering Mrs Barnes but was convicted by a jury earlier this week and handed a mandatory life sentence for murder, with a minimum of 14 years before parole.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Charles Bourne told him: “I accept you must have been very shocked to find a stranger in your house, your bedroom. But your reaction surpasses anything that any reasonable person could imagine.
“You are a large and strong man, aged 45 at the time. She was small and slight, at least 25 years older than you, clearly affected by alcohol and unsteady on her feet.
“I can understand why you might have escorted her out of your house, though a different person might have responded to this situation by trying to help her. But the assault, a kick or stamp of sufficient force to cause a fatal injury, was a dreadful thing to do, to a defenceless elderly person.”
When Redfern and his partner went upstairs to bed, around 40 minutes after Ms Barnes arrived at 10:10pm on 11 July, the 46-year-old at first calmly called the police and asked officers to come and remove her.
But things then went “terribly wrong” after a row broke out, the court heard.
Redfern, a 6ft 1in man who weighed 21 stone, told the jury he had found Barnes sitting up in their bed drinking gin and tonic with her false teeth on the bedside table.
Redfern was criticised by Detective Superintendent Mark Pierce of North Wales Police for having shown “no remorse, attempted to blame Margaret for his actions and subjected her family to the trauma of a two-week trial where details of the event were explored in graphic detail”.
Lamenting what they said had been “the hardest time of our lives”, Barnes’s family said: “It has been especially difficult for Margaret’s husband who had been her partner for 56 years.
“We now have some sort of closure on what has happened however no length of sentence will ever fill the void that Margaret has left behind.”
Additional reporting by PA