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Man convicted of manslaughter after killing a woman and setting her body on fire in Marlow

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A man has been convicted of manslaughter following the death of a woman in Marlow.

On Wednesday 16th August 2017, at Reading Crown Court, a 24 year old man, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter .

The conviction follows and incident which occurred on Wednesday 6th July 2016 when officers from Thames Valley Police officers were called to a property in Ragmans Lane, Marlow just after 6.30am.

Upon arrival at the scene police officers were confronted by the 24 year old man who assaulted an officer before attempting to escape the scene.

The police officers managed to detain the 24 year old man and then discovered the body of a woman on fire. The woman was later identified as 81 year old Albertina Choules. A post mortem revealed that the cause of death was a blunt trauma head injury.

The 24 year old man was arrested at the scene and was charged with one count of murder on Tuesday 12th July, 2016.

At the hearing held at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday 16th August 2017 the 24 year old man pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The alternative charge was accepted by the prosecution. Two charges of attempting to cause Grievous Bodily Harm were dropped.

Senior investigating officer Mike Lynch, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, said: ‘This was a horrific incident in which a woman was attacked and killed at random by [the 24 year old man].

I cannot begin to imagine how terrifying this was for Mrs Choules, or how traumatic this has been for her family.

Mrs Choules was retired, and lived a peaceful life at her home in Marlow. That came to an end on the day [the 24 year old man] entered her property.

I am pleased that Mrs Choules’ family will now be spared the distress of a trial process, and I hope that they will soon be able to gain a sense of closure following this ordeal.

The 24 year old man will be sentenced on Tuesday 3rd October 2017 at a hearing at Reading Crown Court.

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