Leeds & West Yorkshire

Shipley man admits murdering his grandmother

Nathaniel Flynn
Image caption Nathaniel Flynn appeared at Bradford Crown Court

A man has admitted murdering his 84-year-old grandmother and attempting to murder a nine-year-old boy.

Nathaniel Flynn, 26, from Shipley, pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court to killing Louisa Denby at her home, where he also lived, and stabbing Jason D'Arcy in a nearby park on 1 July.

Mrs Denby's body was found by police investigating the knife attack at Carnegie skate park in Shipley.

Flynn, of Prospect Mount, will be sentenced on 18 December.

Mr Justice Keith told him he will be given a life sentence.

Jason D'Arcy was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance following the attack at about 16:40 BST.

He suffered injuries to his arm and chest from a single stab wound.

Mrs Denby was found with "numerous stab wounds" just before midnight following a "brutal and frenzied attack" at the hands of her grandson.

Police said Flynn also attempted to entice an eight-year-old girl from her garden and attacked a 59-year-old man.

'Vicious and unprovoked'

He was arrested after being spotted in Westfield Lane, Idle, in nearby Bradford, at about 04:10 BST the following day.

Julian Briggs, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This defendant is responsible for two vicious and unprovoked attacks; one on Louisa Denby, his 84-year-old grandmother and a subsequent knife attack on a nine-year-old boy.

"Tragically, Louisa Denby was killed. The boy suffered life-threatening injuries which required emergency surgery and for which he is still receiving treatment.

"It has not been possible to establish what drove Flynn to commit these awful crimes.

"He has now admitted his responsibility and pleaded guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder.

"We hope this brings some measure of comfort to the families of both victims. Our thoughts remain with them, as they have been throughout."

'Lucky to be alive'

The court heard psychiatrists had examined the defendant but found no suggestion he was suffering from any impairment when he committed the crimes.

Police have also discounted reports he was under the influence of controlled drugs at the time.

Det Ch Insp Nick Wallen from West Yorkshire Police said Mrs Denby was "adored by her family" and had only ever shown "love and kindness" to Flynn.

"To this day we still have no idea why he attacked her," he said.

He said it was "sheer luck" the boy was not killed after being stabbed through the arm while almost certainly defending himself from a blow aimed at his chest.

The court heard the youngster is heading to Downing Street next week to meet Prime Minister David Cameron.

The judge was also told how Flynn's mother, who is Ms Denby's daughter, is flying over from the United States for the sentencing hearing.

Flynn, who has spent much of his life in the US, sat in the dock surrounded by security guards for the half-hour hearing.

He was also charged with assault and possession of a bladed article but those charges have been dropped.

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