Mum slams killer husband for 'catastrophically' ruining lives after murdering her daughter & pensioner while high on LSD
A MUM today slammed a monster for "catastrophically" ruining her life after he murdered her daughter and a pensioner while on LSD.
Daniel Appleton, 38, chased primary school teacher Amy, 32, from their home in Crawley Down, West Sussex, in his boxers and attacked her on the driveway.
The hulking 6ft 1ins, 17-stone garage owner then battered frail 4ft 9in Sandra Seagrave, 76, with her own metal walking stick as she tried to intervene.
As she lay stricken on the ground, Appleton, who was high on LSD, returned to his wife and struck her with the same stick as she desperately tried to escape.
The garage owner then chillingly told a terrified witness: "I know I've killed my wife and I know I am going to prison".
He was also heard screaming "I could murder you" by neighbours moments before the "fast-moving, alarming, disturbing, terrifying" attack on December 22, 2019.
Appleton has today been jailed for life with a minimum of 26 years after previously being found guilty of two counts of murder.
Amy's mother Linda Remon faced her daughter's killer as she described the "uncontrollable distress and despair" her family have experienced.
She said: "One moment we were looking forward to a special Christmas and new year and the next our world came crashing down around us.
"Our lives were turned catastrophically upside down in the most dreadful way possible.
"Not only has this devastated family and friends but the lives of 30 children she was teaching at the time."
Sentencing Appleton, Mr Justice Nicholas Hilliard QC told him that this was "not a case of insanity".
'I'M F***ING DONE WITH THIS'
Lewes Crown Court heard how in the run-up to the slaughter, he was suffering from severe stress at work and had been behaving bizarrely.
He claimed the double killing was the result of a "psychotic episode" but jurors heard he was high after taking a synthetic form of LSD.
Searches on his phone later showed he had searched for “worse mushrooms, worse mushrooms trip, bad mushrooms trip stories and strongest mushrooms” just 11 days before the killings.
Forensic analysis of Appleton’s hair and nail clippings also showed traces of 25i-NBOMe – a powerful synthetic hallucinogenic similar to LSD – plus mephedrone.
The court heard Appleton had married Amy in October 2018 after 13 years together.
They had recently returned from their honeymoon when he launched into the gruesome attack on the Copthorne Junior School teacher.
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Appleton was heard shouting "I've had f***ing enough of this" and "I'm f***ing done with this" in the build-up to the slaughter.
A horrified neighbour dialled 999 as she saw Appleton walk down the driveway and attack Sandra with the stick at full force as he screamed "how dare you".
The monster was described as “huge, bold and puffed up” like “the Incredible Hulk” while pacing his driveway in his underwear.
Police later found Appleton covered in blood inside the marital home, which had been decorated for Christmas with presents under the tree.
He had stabbed himself at least five times in the chest with a kitchen knife in a botched suicide attempt.
Appleton was rushed to hospital, while both Amy and Sandra were declared dead at the scene just days before Christmas.
'BEAT HER TO DEATH'
Prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis QC said: "The defendant pursued his wife Amy out of their home and began to assault her on their driveway.
“Sandra Seagrave, a slightly built lady aged 76, standing 4’9” in height was on her morning walk using a walking stick to assist her.
“She saw what was happening and intervened by speaking to the defendant no doubt in order to protect Amy Appleton.
“The defendant reacted by turning his aggression on her. He did so verbally at first, but then by taking her walking stick from her and beating to her death with it.
“He then returned with the stick to his wife, who was probably trying to hide from the man she loved, and proceeded to beat her to death with it too.”
Appleton admitted the killings but denied murder, arguing it was a result of a psychotic episode.
He claimed he said loved his wife "more than she will ever know" and she loved him.
The brute told the jury: “I have not taken any drugs and I did not take any drugs.”
In a statement released after the verdict, Amy's heartbroken family said: "Never a day goes by that we don't miss and think of our beautiful, kind, caring daughter, sister and stepsister.
"Amy will live on in our minds and in our hearts, and will always be missed by the many people, colleagues and school children that she knew and who loved her."
Sandra's family described her as a "lady of old-fashioned values who was a true character".
They added in their statement: "Her tragic death is something that is almost impossible to come to terms with."
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