Man jailed for murder of defenceless Preston mum – Cumbria Crack

Man jailed for murder of \defenceless\ Preston mum - Cumbria Crack

Man is jailed for life after battering his girlfriend to death with a crowbar

Ben Topping, 25, left Rosie Darbyshire, 27, so disfigured that it was thought at first that she was a man

A man has been jailed for life after he brutally murdered his girlfriend with a crowbar, leaving her so disfigured that it was thought at first that she was a man.  

Ben Topping, 25, left Rosie Darbyshire, 27, with more than 50 horrific injuries on her body in a savage and sustained attack on February 7, Preston Crown Court heard.

CCTV footage from a shop near Rosies home in Ribbleton, Lancashire showed the single mother running away from Topping before falling over, standing back up, and then being deliberately tripped by her killer.  

Sentencing him to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment, Recorder of Preston Judge Mark Brown said: “It is difficult to envisage a more horrific attack on a defenceless person.”

Topping then struck her repeatedly on the head and face with a crowbar, which he claimed he had taken from Rosies jacket. 

“Now we are no longer stuck in limbo we will try to live our new reality and ensure that Rosies son lives a happy life and will always share memories of his beautiful mum.”

Sentencing Topping to a minimum of 20 years in prison, Judge Mark Brown said it is difficult to envisage a more horrific attack on a defenceless person. 

Topping had only been in a relationship with Rosie for a few weeks before the brutal killing, after reconnecting with her via Facebook.

He continued to hit her as she lay unconscious on the ground and then chased the couple from the scene, later throwing his weapon at a third witness.

Judge Brown said on the night of the attack, Topping had been drinking gin and cherry shots at Rosies home.

Topping, of St Georges Road in Preston, spat at the officer who detained him when he was arrested shortly afterwards.

He left in the early hours of the morning, with the judge commenting There had clearly been an altercation between you.

A THUG who murdered his girlfriend with a crowbar leaving her unrecognisable has been jailed for life.

Topping was heard by a witness shouting at Rosie, threatening to punch every car window in the street if she didnt come to him.

CCTV footage from a shop near Rosies home in Ribbleton, Lancashire showed her running away before being tripped and beaten

She suffered the most extensive injuries to her head and face and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Members of Rosies friends and family left the hearing as the judge told of how 50 different injuries had been found on Rosies head and face, that had left her unrecognisable.

Judge Brown said: Fracturing of finger bones showed she didnt die immediately and must have suffered greatly.

When the crowbar was found, it had been wiped thoroughly so there were no traces of blood, body tissue or hair on it.

Topping was described as being very drunk and claiming to the police at that time that he didnt know what he had done.

Sentencing, Judge Brown said: There is no doubt in my mind, due to the sustained, brutal and barbaric nature of the attack, there was an intention to kill.

It was revealed that Topping had a history of alcohol and substance misuse, but was not judged to have a major mental health disorder.

His defence team have claimed he is remorseful for his actions and the effect on his victims family, especially her young son.

At the time of the murder, Topping was on bail for punching a man in the face in Popworld, Preston, Lancashire, who he believed had assaulted his ex-partner.

Wearing a zip-up grey sports top and khaki-coloured cargo trousers, Topping did not speak and showed no emotion during the hearing.

The officer who led the investigation, DCI Geoff Hurst from Lancashires Force Major Investigation Team (FMIT) said: Firstly, my thoughts, as well as those of my team, are with Rosies family at this dreadfully difficult time.

This was a senseless murder where a talented, defenceless young lady needlessly lost her life in the most appalling way. Whats worse is that she died close to the community where she lived.

Ben Topping is a dangerous individual who attacked Rosie with such savagery, she was unrecognisable and died almost straightaway. He has left a nine-year-old boy without a mother and a family who will never be the same again..

No sentence will ever feel enough to show the value of Rosies life and the loss we feel. We want to thank the police involved in Rosies case and the prosecutor.

Now we are no longer stuck in limbo we will try to live our new reality and ensure that Rosies son lives a happy life and will always share memories of his beautiful mum.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. Well ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.

Preston Crown Court heard Topping, 25, of St Georges Road, Preston, had been in a relationship with 27-year-old single mum Rosie for only a matter of weeks prior to the killing, having been to college together and reconnecting via Facebook.

Judge Brown said on February 7, 2019, Topping had been drinking gin and cherry shots at Rosies home in Whitmore Place, Ribbleton. He left the address in the early hours of the morning, with the judge commenting “There had clearly been an altercation between you”.

Topping was heard by a witness shouting at Rosie, threatening to punch “every car window in the street” if she didnt come to him.

CCTV footage from a local shop showed Rosie run away, fall over, stand up, but then be deliberately tripped by Topping on the junction of Pope Lane and Village Drive, Ribbleton.

He then struck her repeatedly to the head and face with a crowbar, he claimed he had removed from Rosies jacket.

Judge Brown said: “It was undoubtedly a sustained and savage assault”, adding: “A witness saw you swinging it (the crowbar) like a golf club”.

“She suffered the most extensive injuries to her head and face and was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Members of Rosies friends and family left the hearing as the judge told of how 50 different injuries had been found on Rosies head and face, that had left her unrecognisable.

More news:

Preston Guild Hall staff laid off as owner closes venue – BBC News
Preston Guild Hall staff laid off as owner closes venue – BBC News
Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre announces temporary closure | News – The Stage
Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre announces temporary closure | News – The Stage
Murder investigation after sudden death of man in Preston – ITV News
Murder investigation after sudden death of man in Preston – ITV News
All Preston rail services cancelled between Manchester, Blackpool, Bolton and Wigan due to power surge – Lancashire Evening Post
All Preston rail services cancelled between Manchester, Blackpool, Bolton and Wigan due to power surge – Lancashire Evening Post
Preston man jailed for girlfriends crowbar murder – BBC News
Preston man jailed for girlfriends crowbar murder – BBC News
Preston North End boss Alex Neil will start his summer planning this week – Lancashire Evening Post
Preston North End boss Alex Neil will start his summer planning this week – Lancashire Evening Post
Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday – BBC Sport
Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday – BBC Sport
Man charged in Preston mosque graffiti probe – Lancashire Evening Post
Man charged in Preston mosque graffiti probe – Lancashire Evening Post
Man charged over graffiti on Preston mosque – BBC News
Man charged over graffiti on Preston mosque – BBC News
Man arrested over graffiti on Preston mosque – BBC News
Man arrested over graffiti on Preston mosque – BBC News
More offensive graffiti daubed on Preston mosque – BBC News
More offensive graffiti daubed on Preston mosque – BBC News
Preston North End v Ipswich Town – BBC Sport
Preston North End v Ipswich Town – BBC Sport