Killer admits battering retired midwife, 71, to death before he fled to Sweden where police tracked him down and sent him back to UK to face justice
- Kenneth McDermid, 43, tracked down by police and extradited from Sweden
- Wendy Ann Morse, 71, was found dead at her home in Knypersley, Staffordshire
- McDermid has admitted a charge of manslaughter by diminished responsibility
A man has admitted to killing a retired midwife who was found dead at her home last year before fleeing to Sweden.
Kenneth McDermid, 43, was tracked down by police to Stockholm and extradited to the UK after Wendy Ann Morse, 71, was found dead at her home in Knypersley, Staffordshire, on Mother’s Day last March.
Now McDermid, from Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, has admitted a charge of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.
He will be sentenced at Stafford Crown Court in mid-April.
Kenneth McDermid (pictured), 43, has admitted a charge of manslaughter by diminished responsibility
Wendy Ann Morse, 71, was found dead at her home in Knypersley, Staffordshire, on Mother’s Day last March
Staffordshire Police launched a major manhunt after discovering Mrs Morse’s body at her home on March 22 last year – hours before the UK went into coronavirus lockdown.
There were signs of a disturbance and there was glass and a bottle smashed on the floor.
An inquest previously heard how police smashed their way into the grandmother’s home to find her body covered in plastic sheeting on the conservatory floor after concerned relatives had reported her missing on Mothering Sunday.
She had suffered a ‘severe blunt trauma head injury’.
Forensics officers spent a number of days combing the property for clues and appealed for sightings of a green Honda Civic which had been driven between Biddulph and Sneyd Green three days before Mrs Morse’s body was found.
But the police investigation then took detectives 1,300 miles away to Sweden when their suspect appeared before Stockholm District Court.
A European Arrest Warrant was secured to bring the killer back to the UK.
Forensic teams at the scene of the murder in Knypersley, Staffordshire, last March
Following today’s guilty plea, Detective Inspector Cheryl Hannan, from Staffordshire Police, said: ‘We are happy that the defendant has taken responsibility for his actions and hope this goes some way to giving the family some closure after what has been a truly difficult year for them.
‘I’d like to thank them for their support and courage during our investigation and would like to issue thanks to the Swedish authorities and the Crown Prosecution Service for their help in detaining McDermid in March last year.’
After Mrs Morse’s body was discovered on March 22 her heartbroken family paid tribute her and appealed for help tracing the killer.
In a statement, they said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our mum, who was a very bubbly person and full of character, who will be sorely missed by her children and grandchildren.
‘We would appeal to any member of the public with any information, however small, to contact Staffordshire Police in connection with the death of our mum.’
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