Man admits killing wife and elderly woman in street days before Christmas

News

A man has admitted killing his wife and an elderly woman in a brutal attack in the street just three days before Christmas.

Teacher Amy Appleton, 32, and Sandy Seagrave, 76, died during the incident outside a suburban home in Crawley Down, West Sussex, on December 22, 2019.

Daniel Appleton, 37, of Hazel Way in the village, denied murdering both women because he contests his mental state at the time of the offences – but admitted killing them.

Both women suffered catastrophic head injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Mrs Seagrave is understood to have been walking past at the time of the attack and was killed when she tried to intervene.

Today Daniel Appleton, Amy’s husband, appeared in Lewes Crown Court dressed in a short-sleeved black polo shirt, charged with two counts of murder.

Mr Lewis Power QC, defending, said the allegations that Appleton killed the both women was not in dispute.

One woman was found lying on a stretch of grass outside the house while another was found lying in the street.

Neighbours say both were attacked outside the house in broad daylight and were brutally ‘bludgeoned’ to death.

There was shock in the picturesque village when police and forensics teams swooped as and news of the horrors unfolded.

Christmas lights in nearby homes were turned off in silent tribute to the two women.

A 37-year-old man was discovered inside a house with serious injuries and was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He was rushed to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton suffering from serious injuries.

After her death, family members described Mrs Appleton as ‘a rock for her family, a rock for her friends’, who always thought of others before herself.

Mrs Appleton, a teacher at nearby Copthorne Church of England junior school, was also described by her family as a ‘beautiful, caring daughter, sister and friend.’

A tribute added: ‘Amy was such a strong, positive person who always smiled.

‘She was a rock for her family, a rock for her friends and most of all a rock for herself.’

Mrs Seagrave’s family described her as ‘one of a kind, an eccentric character who was stubbornly independent, feisty, brave and not afraid of anything.’

Appleton will go on trial on July 6.