Louth double murder trial (Jan 31): Judge asks jury to consider evidence ‘dispassionately’
Daniel Boulton, 30, admits the manslaughter of his former girlfriend Bethany Vincent and her son, Darren Henson, but denies their murder.
Ms Vincent and Darren, known to his family as DJ, were both found stabbed to death at their home in High Holme Road, Louth, shortly after 8pm on May 31 last year.
Experts for the defence and prosecution agree that Boulton was suffering from a dissocial personality disorder.
Defence psychiatrist Dr Pablo Vandenabeele said he believed Boulton lost control due to the ferocity of the injuries and was in a state of emotional arousal.
Boulton told Dr Vandenabeele: “It was like I wasn’t there, auto-pilot did the job for me.”
But the prosecution argue Boulton was still capable of carefully planning the killings.
Katherine Goddard QC, prosecuting, said: “The case revolves around four minutes on May 31 between 8.19pm and 8.23pm, and whether in that four minutes Daniel Boulton lost that control which so characterises him.”
The jury were this morning addressed by the trial judge, Mr Justice Pepperall, who gave them a legal framework to reach their verdicts.
Mr Justice Pepperall told the jury they would have to consider if it was more likely than not that Mr Boulton’s personality disorder substantially impaired his ability to exercise self control.
Furthermore, the jurors must consider if it is more likely than not that Mr Boulton’s personality disorder caused or was a significant contributing factor in causing him to kill Bethany Vincent and Darren Henson.
Mr Justice Pepperall told the jury it was entirely understandable to have sympathy for Bethany Vincent, Darren Henson and their families.
“You have heard some very distressing evidence,” Mr Justice Pepperall told the jury. “And I suspect you don’t like Mr Boulton.”
But Mr Justice Pepperall said that would be an emotional response and asked the jury to consider the evidence dispassionately.
It is alleged Boulton carried out the murders after walking 28 miles from his hostel in Alexandra Road, Skegness.
Boulton then led police on a manhunt until the following day, burgling a cottage where he stole alcohol and food, and assaulting an off-duty police officer in the leg in the Hubbard’s Hills area of Louth.
He was tasered and arrested at a nearby farm in Hallington after trying to get into two cars and encouraging armed officers to shoot him.