Chiangrai Times – Thai National Bunthawee Rimmer accused of bludgeoning a 77-year-old man to death with a hammer has told a court that she heard voices in her head saying “dead, dead, dead” before the alleged attack.
Giving evidence during her trial at Ipswich Crown Court Bunthawee Rimmer told a jury that she had loved 77-year-old Paul Norfolk and had no reason to kill him.
Speaking through an interpreter 48-year-old Rimmer, who denies murdering Mr Norfolk shortly after Christmas last year, said that before the alleged killing she had taken an overdose of tablets because she “didn’t want to live anymore.”
She said she had felt sad because Mr Norfolk had told her her he wanted “to dump” her as he did not love her anymore and had another woman who loved him.
She said that on the night of December 29 she had got into bed next to Mr Norfolk and he had embraced and kissed her.
During the night she had got up to help him go to the toilet and after claims she had heard voices.
She had then made them both a cup of tea and “vaguely” remembered going downstairs to the kitchen, while Mr Norfolk went back to sleep, and picking up a hammer and three knives.
Questioned by prosecution counsel Andrew Jackson QC, Rimmer denied she had decided at that point to kill Mr Norfolk. “No. I was thinking of killing myself,” she said.
She said she vaguely remembered going back into the bedroom where Mr Norfolk was still asleep. Asked by Mr Jackson, “You took the hammer and you began to hit his head with it?” Rimmer replied, “I picked up a piece of wood and started moving it up and down.”
Asked if she accepted a hammer had caused the injuries to Mr Norfolk’s head Rimmer eplied, “I think so.”
She said she had then caused injuries to herself because she was “sad and disappointed” that Mr Norfolk did not love her anymore. “I loved him very much,” she said.
The court has heard that Rimmer, who was brought up in Thailand and was orphaned at the age of seven when her parents were killed in a car crash, had been married to Mr Norfolk’s best friend Geoffrey Rimmer and after his death had moved into Mr Norfolk’s home in Castle Lane, Haverhill to care for his invalid wife Esme.
Rimmer told the court that in the weeks leading up to Mr Norfolk’s death she had been depressed and had been to see her doctor who had prescribed sleeping tablets.
She claimed she had a sexual relationship with Mr Norfolk and had let him have sex with her because she regarded it as her job to make him happy.
She said that despite Mr Norfolk telling her he no longer loved her she had continued to share a bed with him because she was worried he might kill himself because he was worried about his wife Esme and the £2,800 montly cost of her care home.
It is alleged that Rimmer murdered Mr Norfolk between December 28-31 last year him by hitting him over the head 12 times with a claw hammer while he was asleep.
Rimmer was found unconscious in bed next to him holding his hand and a pathologist told the court that Mr Norfolk had probably been unconscious for at least 15 hours before he died.
The court has heard that two months before his death Mr Norfolk changed his will so that Rimmer would inherit his estate worth £340,000 although Rimmer told the court she was unaware of this.
The jury has been told there is no dispute that Rimmer killed Mr Norfolk and the issue was whether or not she was suffering from a form of depression which had impaired her mind at the time of the killing which would reduce the charge of murder to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
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