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Karen Vamplew, of Newark, found guilty of murdering mother-in-law in house fire after trial at Leicester Crown Court

The jury has returned its verdict in the trial of a woman accused of murdering her mother-in-law.

Karen Vamplew, 44, has been found guilty of murder following the four-week trial at Leicester Crown Court.

Her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Vamplew, 77, known as Anne, died in hospital on December 15, 2021, after suffering unsurvivable burns and smoke inhalation injuries in a house fire at her bungalow on Eton Court, Newark, in the early hours.

Leicester Crown Court. Credit: Google
Leicester Crown Court. Credit: Google

Karen denied the murder, and alleged the fire was started by a lit cigarette, but the jury believed the account of the prosecution — that she had lit the fire herself during the first of two visits she had made to Anne’s bungalow that night.

It has been presented that Vamplew murdered Anne for her inheritance, as she was in debt.

There were audible gasps in the courtroom as the verdict was announced today (Friday, May 17).

Judge Timothy Spencer ruled that the sentencing would take place on Monday (May 20).

Addressing the victim’s family in the public gallery after Vamplew was led out of the courtroom, he described the case as “really distressing”, and praised them for conducting themselves with such dignity throughout the proceedings.

Later, when thanking the jury for their service, he described it as “one of the most distressing [murder cases] it is possible to imagine”, and gave members a 15-year exemption from jury service — stating that he felt they had done their duty.

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