Nov 2010

Pensioner who killed his wife with hammer to stop her finding out he was a paedophile admits murder

A pensioner who bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer because he did not want her to find out he was a paedophile pleaded guilty to her murder today.

Geoffrey Norton, 67, was arrested in December last year over an allegation he sexually assaulted a young girl.

Weeks later he killed wife Janet, 64, at their log cabin-style home at a caravan park in Preesall, Lancashire.

Sources said Norton could not face owning up to his wife about his crime and attacked her while she slept.

Geoffrey Norton pleaded guilty to murdering his wife Janet with a hammer because he did not want her to find out he was a paedophile

He had been released on bail in December pending further inquiries but it is understood he committed the murder shortly before police intended to re-arrest him.

Police were called to their address at Willow Grove Caravan Park in Sandy Lane at 9am on January 22.

Mrs Norton was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and later transferred to Royal Preston Hospital where she died.

A post-mortem examination showed she suffered severe head injuries.

Norton, formerly of Delph, Oldham, was charged with her murder, the child sex offence and a string of other sexual assaults against another child victim dating back to the 1970s.

Norton, wearing a grey suit and turquoise tie, spoke only at Preston Crown Court to enter his guilty pleas to the offences. A trial scheduled to last a week had been due to start today.

The facts of the case were not opened as David Fish QC, representing Norton, asked for more time to prepare his mitigation.

Mr Justice Macduff agreed to adjourn sentencing until Wednesday.

Outside court Mrs Norton’s daughter, Pamela Vilorio Mieses, said: ‘Janet Norton, my mum, was a remarkable person. Of her many qualities she was an honest and sincere person with an absence of vanity. An individual who has an outstanding ability to listen, care and take all your problems away.

‘I have lost my mum, I feel like I have been blindfolded and can’t take it off. I can’t believe what happened to her. Her pure generosity and loving nature I’ll miss the most and truly believe the lives of my family and her friends will never be the same.

‘Again, it is an honour for me to have known and loved her as a mum, grandma and best friend.’

Detective Sergeant Andy Lawless from Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation Team said: ‘I am pleased with today’s result and hope it provides some solace to Janet’s family and friends who remain devastated by their loss. Thankfully the family no longer have to face the prospect of sitting through a trial.’