Life for Rotherham man found guilty of murder

Latest news in Yorkshire: July 12, 2017 02:11:17 PM

A Rotherham man is now serving a life-sentence behind bars after being found guilty of the murder of 64-year-old Judith Ducker.

Paul Storm Blueitt, 36, of Cambridge Crescent, Rotherham, was found guilty on Monday 10thJuly of murder and robbery, by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court following an 11-day trial.

He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison and will have to serve a minimum of 27 years before being considered for release.

Detective Constable Mick Walker, the investigating officer, and Detective Sergeant Andy Shields said: “Mrs Ducker was left with serious head injuries after she was assaulted by Blueitt during a robbery at Wellgate News in Rotherham on 1 September last year.

“At the time of the incident, Judith was living a normal life, despite living with breast cancer that had spread to other parts of her body. Oncologists from both Sheffield and Rotherham hospitals were managing her cancer and she had responded well to the treatment.

“Blueitt entered the shop shortly after 11am that morning and subjected Judith to an horrendous assault, during which she sustained serious head injuries.”

Mrs Ducker was left with a fractured skull, a fractured eye socket, multiple head lacerations and bruising to the brain. Blueitt stole £40 from the till before leaving the shop on a bike.

DS Shields added: “The consequence of this assault, was that Judith would never be well enough to receive further cancer treatment and after being taken to hospital, a CT head scan revealed that Judith’s breast cancer had spread to her brain. Such were her head injuries that further cancer treatment could not be given to her and she sadly died in hospital on 20 October last year. She died from the breast cancer that had spread to her brain.”

Blueitt was initially charged with attempted murder but after Mrs Ducker’s death, the charge was upgraded to murder, following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The prosecution case was that the serious head injuries caused by Blueitt prevented Mrs Ducker from receiving vital cancer treatment and resulted in her premature death.

“This has been an incredibly sad and difficult time for Judith’s family and friends, who have all shown immense courage, understanding and patience throughout the investigation and the trial, and I would like to thank them for that,” added DS Shields.

“I would also like to thank all of the medical professionals from The Rotherham, Sheffield and Leeds NHS Trusts without whom this prosecution would not have been possible. Despite their professional commitments, they found the time to meet with the investigating officers and to attend the trial to give expert and medical evidence.

“This was a complex investigation, and the conviction has come through the hard work of the investigative team, alongside input and support from key partner agencies.

I hope that this offers some degree of closure to Judith’s family who have had to endure the agony of having their loved one taken away from them.”

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