Beds, Herts & Bucks

Yvonne Caylor jailed for murdering half-sister with chicken pot

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Media captionYvonne Caylor used a chicken-shaped ceramic egg holder to murder Nicki Collingbourne

A woman who murdered her half-sister with a chicken-shaped ceramic pot has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years.

Yvonne Caylor, 53, disguised herself with a wig and false beard when she went to carry out the killing.

Her half-sister Nicki Collingbourne, 26, was found dead in her underwear at her flat in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.

Caylor spent three hours making the attack in May look like suicide, Luton Crown Court heard.

The former welder was convicted of murder by a jury on Monday.

Live updates on Yvonne Caylor sentencing

Judge Michael Kay QC told her: "You are a violent, dishonest and deceitful person and ultimately a selfish, heartless killer."

Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Yvonne Caylor donned a wig and false beard to dupe CCTV cameras at Ms Collingbourne's Letchworth flat
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Media captionChicken pot killer Yvonne Caylor blamed 'dude' for murder

The jury heard the motive for the murder was sparked by Ms Collingbourne's decision to evict Caylor from her flat in October 2015.

Caylor, of Grove Road, Hitchin, told police she had been assaulted but was later charged with burgling her half-sister's flat and perverting the course of justice.

She was facing a court hearing in which Ms Collingbourne was due to testify against her.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Nicki Collingbourne was found dead at her flat in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, in May

On the day of the murder, CCTV showed Caylor walking into the building at Ivel Court and knocking on her sibling's door.

She can be seen disguised in a wig and false beard and wearing a workman's jacket.

The jury heard Ms Collingbourne recognised her and tried to shut the door but the defendant forced her way in and carried out the attack.

'Crude disguise'

Judge Kay QC told her: "You went to the flat in a relatively crude disguise. At first glance you were dressed as a man. You utilised some sort of padding to disguise the shape of your body.

"Only you know precisely what happened when the door was shut for the final time.

"At some point you picked up a ceramic chicken and brought it down on her head, causing her to fall to the floor.

"You then smothered Nicki Collingbourne which accounts for injuries around her mouth and attempted to make it look as if Nicki Collingbourne had committed suicide."

Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Yvonne Caylor has been jailed for killing her half-sister Nicki Collingbourne
Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Caylor was originally charged with burgling her half-sister's Letchworth flat

Ms Collingbourne's family described her as "a beautiful young woman with a beautiful soul" who was "robbed of a happy life".

Her sister Susan Hibbert-Jones said: "I miss my little sister.

"She was just beginning on life's journey and hadn't experienced half of what she should have done like getting married and having children. She would have made a wonderful mum."

'Loss and torment'

Ms Collingbourne's mother Rena did not live to see her daughter's killer brought to justice.

"In my view my Mum was so devastated by Nicki's murder that it affected her health so much it cut her life short," Mrs Hibbert-Jones said .

"Mum's last few months on this earth were full of sadness and torment over the loss of her daughter."

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