Woman jailed for manslaughter
A woman who killed her former friend by pushing her down some stairs, before conspiring with a man to cover up the crime, has been jailed for 13 years.
Rosalind Gray, aged 55 and of Marlborough Square in Great Yarmouth, was found guilty of manslaughter and conspiring to pervert the course of justice, following a trial at Norwich Crown Court last month.
Adrian Lawrence, aged 53, of South Market Road in the town, was found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice at the same trial.
The court heard how the ambulance service was called to Lawrence’s home address in South Market Road at approximately 11.40pm on Monday 5 August 2019 to reports Linda Rainey, aged 60 and from Great Yarmouth, had fallen down some stairs.
Linda was taken to the James Paget Hospital with serious head injuries and later transferred to Addenbrooke Hospital where she sadly died on Wednesday 7 August.
On Saturday 10th August, three days after Linda’s death, police received a phone call from a woman who had been drinking with Linda, Gray and Lawrence at the South Market Road address on the night Linda was injured.
The woman stated she saw Gray push Linda down the stairs following an argument about some money which was owed over a missed holiday.
Officers from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team launched a murder enquiry and it emerged Gray and Lawrence had initially told the witness to hide in a room whilst the ambulance service attended the address as she couldn’t be trusted to stay quiet.
They both later applied more pressure, even arranging a meeting between the three of them at a local pub, in order to discuss getting their story straight. They threatened the witness to keep quiet but once she discovered Linda had died, she found the courage to contact police.
During the investigation officers also discovered that Lawrence had gone to great lengths to cover-up the circumstances surrounding Linda’s fall by calling her family whilst she was in hospital to inform them the police had been in attendance which was untrue.
Gray was sentenced to a 17 year extended sentence, to serve 13 years in prison, at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday 10 September 2020, whilst Lawrence received a 38 month prison sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Brown said: “Today’s sentencing reflects the seriousness of Rosalind Gray and Adrian Lawrence’s actions that night and in the days following Linda’s death.
“I would like to thank the witness for their bravery and assistance throughout our investigation and during the trial. Without their honest and consistent account of the circumstances leading up to, and during the days after the incident, we may not have ever known the truth behind Linda’s untimely and tragic death.
“While Linda’s family have seen justice, nothing can make up for their loss and I can only hope today’s sentence will go some way in helping them during this difficult time.”