A businessman has been convicted of two murders after beating a neighbor to death who stepped in to try and stop him killing his wife.
Daniel Appleton, 38, launched a ferocious attack on his 32-year-old wife Amy on the driveway of their home just a few days before Christmas last year and was said to be acting like the “Incredible Hulk”.
Neighbour Sandy Seagrave, 76, saw what was going on and tried to stop him by threatening him with her walking stick however he turned on the 4’9″ pensioner and beat her to death with the stick before turning to finish off killing his wife.
Appleton denied murder, claiming he was in the middle of a psychotic incident, however, the prosecution said he was high on LSD at the time of the killings. Following a seven-week trial, Appleton was found guilty on Tuesday of both murders as the jury returned a unanimous verdict after two days of deliberations.
Hove Crown Court heard the horrific killings happened in the quiet village of Crawley Down, West Sussex just three days before Christmas last year and the jury was told that Appleton and his wife led a comfortable life, owning two homes and a fleet of luxury cars.
However, in the weeks leading up to the murders, Appleton was suffering from stress and had been acting in a bizarre manner.
Neighbors recalled how he followed Amy out of the house as she was only dressed in her underwear before attacking her on the driveway. When widow Mrs. Seagrave saw what was going on she went across and waved her walking stick at him he grabbed it and clubbed her to death. During the trial Appleton said “I did not take any drugs. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. There is no intention in any of this at all. I did not take any drugs and I do not know how or why they were in my body.” after being cross-examined by the prosecution regarding his intake of LSD.
He claimed he had no memory of snatching the walking stick from Mrs. Seagrave and clubbing her to death with it before using the same metal crutch to kill his wife. The jury rejected this and found him guilty on all counts. Sentencing is due on the 25th of January.
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