Face of callous Sheffield murderer who killed Sarah Brierley & stole from her as she lay dead
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A 40-year-old man was found guilty of the murder of his former Sheffield flatmate just a few moments ago.
It took the jury of seven women and five men a total of four hours and eight minutes to find David Scott unanimously guilty of murdering Sarah Brierley, who was also known as 'Queenie'.
During the opening of the Sheffield Crown Court trial last month (October 2023), prosecutor, David Brooke KC, said Scott, of Abbeyfield Road, Pitsmoor, Sheffield had been living with Ms Brierley at her flat in Skelton Close, Woodhouse, in the weeks prior to her death in February 2023, but had moved out by the time of the fatal attack upon her.
Jurors were told how police discovered 49-year-old Sarah’s body at her flat in Skelton Close, Woodhouse, Sheffield, with 'serious trauma to her head' at just after 8am on February 20, 2023, but the extent of 'decomposition' suggests she is likely to have died some days earlier, the jury of seven women and five men have previously been told.
A Home Office pathologist who examined Sarah's body determined she had suffered severe injuries to her head, which had fractured the skull, and were consistent with being caused by multiple blows - at least five. with a blunt weapon inflicted with severe force.
Mr Brooke said in addition to Scott being the last person to be seen with Ms Brierley alive, he was also someone 'who was accustomed to carrying a hammer for criminal purposes'.
"This included a robbery a few days beforehand. In that case, the victim was struck to the back of the head with a hammer," Mr Brooke previously told jurors.
Scott was also found guilty of a charge of robbery in connection with this incident when jurors returned their unanimous verdicts this afternoon (Wednesday, November 1, 2023).
A deleted, but cached, version of a picture showing Ms Brierley's dead body, with a bin bag covering her head, was also found on a mobile phone used by Scott. This allowed prosecutors to place the time of Ms Brierley's death as being between 2.46am on February 14, 2023, when Ms Brierley's friend Darren Turner was captured on CCTV leaving her flat, leaving her alone with Scott; and 1.08pm on the same day - the time when the picture of Ms Brierley's body was timestamped.
Jurors were also told that while Scott's blood was found at the murder scene, a 'footprint in blood' was discovered; and Mr Brooke said an 'expert' had matched the footprint to a type of Adidas trainers worn by Mr Scott, adding that he was captured on CCTV wearing that same type of trainer in a Sheffield Co-Op branch around a week earlier on February 7, 2023.
Jurors found Scott's co-accused, and former partner, Zoe Clark, aged 38, of Skelton Close, Woodhouse, Sheffield not guilty of Ms Brierley's murder, and of the alternative count of manslaughter.
Clark, along with Scott, was found unanimously guilty of theft, relating to items stolen from Ms Brierley's flat as she lay dead, including a television, a pressure cooker and a coffee machine.
Outlining the prosecution case relating to the theft charge, Mr Brooke previously told the jury: "On the morning of the 14th February (2023), both defendants were seen on CCTV in the vicinity of Sarah Brierley's flat acting suspiciously.
"They were also seen by a neighbour coming and going to the flat over the next few days before the body was discovered. The prosecution suggest that they were removing property from the flat."
Mr Brooke told jurors that while the prosecution cannot tell them 'why' the attack upon Ms Brierley took place, there were a number of issues at play around the time she died including her 'crush' on, and ‘really quite strong feelings’ for, Ms Clark.
He read excerpts of a 'love letter' Ms Brierley is believed to have sent to Ms Clark, which police discovered in her flat following her death. In it, she describes Ms Clark as her 'princess' and 'angel,' said Ms Clark had gotten 'under' her 'skin' and claimed her feelings for Ms Clark were more 'powerful' and 'addictive' than any drug, including 'crack and heroin'.
"Was this the reason for the attack? Jealousy on David Scott’s part or anger," Mr Brooke told jurors.
Another issue in the 'background' was 'money,' Mr Brooke suggested.
The jury were told that both defendants and Ms Brierley were habitual drug users, and Clark had arranged for her 'benefits' money to be paid into Ms Brierley's bank account.
Scott and Clark are due to be sentenced tomorrow morning (Thursday, November 2, 2023).
After discharging the jury, Mr Justice Kerr thanked them for their public service, and acknowledged it had been a 'long and difficult case' with 'a lot of distressing evidence'.