Sussex

Man jailed for life for killing partner in Maresfield

Ralph Fairman Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Ralph Fairman will only be released with the parole board's approval

A man has been jailed for life for suffocating his partner.

The body of 47-year-old Samantha Toms was found at her home in Field End, Maresfield, East Sussex, on 5 July.

Ralph Fairman, 51, of no fixed address, was jailed for her manslaughter on Tuesday and told he would serve a minimum of nine years.

He will be detained at Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act.

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Samantha Toms's body was found at her home after a call from a member of Fairman's family

Judge Jeremy Gold, sitting at Hove Crown Court, made an order that Fairman should only be released at a time deemed suitable by the parole board.

He will remain on licence for the rest of his life.

Fairman phoned a member of his family confessing to the killing and asking for help removing Ms Toms's body, Sussex Police said.

They immediately called police and Fairman was arrested on the A22 at Ashurst Wood, near East Grinstead.

When officers arrived at Ms Toms's home, they found her body and discovered a black Mini shared by the couple was missing from the driveway.

Ms Toms had been suffocated, a police spokesman said.

Fairman was charged with murder but following an appeal from his defence lawyers he pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Det Insp Simon Dunn said: "Fairman has consistently not taken his medication and is a very violent man, his sentence sufficiently reflects this."

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