Dunkirk hero's killer gets life

A heroin addict who bludgeoned to death a 92-year-old war veteran in his own home has been jailed for at least 20 years.

Jurors at Wolverhampton Crown Court took just four hours to unanimously convict Charlotte Frazier-Doody of the murder of Dunkirk hero Bill Davis, who served in the Royal Navy throughout the Second World War.

Jailing the mother of three for life, Judge John Warner described the killing in Willenhall, near Walsall, as a savage, ferocious and harrowing attack on a frail and vulnerable victim.

Mr Davis, a great-grandfather who lived independently despite his age, was beaten to death a few days after his 92nd birthday at his home in Hobley Street, Willenhall, in April.

Frazier-Doody, who lived in the same street, told her trial she had played no role in Mr Davis's death and had instead cooked him a meal. The 36-year-old killer, who was also addicted to crack cocaine, used a heavy weapon - possibly a saucepan - to kill Mr Davis, who was awarded nine medals during the Second World War.

Jurors heard Mr Davis rose to the rank of petty officer as he served on Arctic convoys, took part in the Relief of Malta and fought against the Japanese in the Pacific.

Passing sentence on Frazier-Doody, Judge Warner said Mr Davis had been "savagely beaten to death" with a substantial object in what should have been the safety and security of his own home.

Mr Davis had either been attacked while on the floor, the judge said, or the attack had continued after he was knocked to the ground.

Forensic evidence proved Mr Davis, who died from multiple head and brain injuries, had grabbed a clump of Frazier-Doody's hair as he tried to defend himself. A two-week trial also heard investigators recovered "billion-to-one" DNA evidence from the scene, including a mixed bloodstain matching both Frazier-Doody and Mr Davis.

The judge told Frazier-Doody: "In my judgment, the motive for this frenzied attack remains a mystery. There are no signs that any of the easily available money was taken. Only two people know the true circumstances of what happened on that day - one of them is no longer with us and you have not provided any information."

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