Drug addict who killed pensioner lover jailed for 12 years

Deanha Neely (s)
Deanha Neely (s)

A woman has been jailed for 12 years after bludgeoning a pensioner to death with a hammer and axe.

Deanha Neely (32), of Birchenlee Road, Colne, was found guilty of manslaughter at Preston Crown Court following a two-week trial. She was found not guilty of murder.

At around 7pm on Wednesday, January 18th, police entered industrial premises on Cross Fold after a relative raised concern for the welfare of Derek Taylor (71), of Blackburn, having not seen him since before Christmas, which was unusual.

Officers attended the unit and with the help of the Fire Service forced entry. Inside was the body of Mr Taylor, whose head had been covered with a plastic bag. Blankets and tarpaulin were laid on his body which was on the floor in front of his motorhome.

He had been subjected to an attack with a hammer and an axe which had resulted in fatal head injuries.

Officers began their investigation which included a detailed examination of the scene and a look into Mr Taylor’s background.

Enquiries revealed that Derek Taylor and Deenha Neely had lived together in the motorhome inside the unit for around 18 months in the lead up to Mr Taylor’s death. The pair lived a chaotic lifestyle; Neely a drug addict and Taylor who supplied her drugs to prevent her resorting to prostitution to fund her habit.

It is thought that he was killed shortly before midday on Monday, January 2nd.

Deenha Neely was arrested on January 19th along with a 34-year-old woman from Great Harwood, who was later released without charge.

Det. Supt Neil Ashton from Lancashire's Force Major Investigation Team said: “Mr Taylor was struck to the head with a hammer and an axe, leaving his skull shattered.

“Neely conceded that she had killed Derek Taylor, but said she had committed the act due to a ‘loss of control’ at the time. After careful consideration of the evidence in this case, the jury have accepted that this was the case and found her guilty of manslaughter.

“There is no doubt that the relationship between Neely and Derek Taylor was unconventional and at times had been volatile. However Mr Taylor has lost his life in tragic circumstances and my thoughts remain with his family at this time.”