Leigh-on-Sea man sentenced for murder of sister

The family of Sharon Butler have said “she will never be forgotten” as the man who killed her was sentenced to life in prison.

Sharon, 64, was found unconscious at the home of her brother, Kevin Shepherd, in Whitehouse Meadows, Leigh-on-Sea on the evening of Tuesday November 7 last year.

Fifty-five year-old Shepherd had called us shortly after 9pm claiming he’d fought with her and she was unconscious.

VICTIM: Sharon Butler

When officers arrived they found Sharon seriously injured in Shepherd’s garden and covered with a tarpaulin.

Close to where Sharon’s body was found, officers discovered a knife stabbed into a plant pot.

She was declared dead at the scene and Shepherd was arrested.

He was later charged with her murder and was due to stand trial on May 7 but ahead of the trial he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.

At Basildon Crown Court today (Monday May 13) he was sentenced to life in prison and must spend a minimum of 13 years and 6 months behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

In a statement, Sharon’s family said: “Our world has been shattered by the loss of our loving daughter and sister. Our lives will never be the same without her. She never will be forgotten and will be forever in our hearts.”

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Balding, who led the investigation, said: “My thoughts, and those of my team, are with Sharon’s friends and family today.

“I know that no sentence will change what has happened but I hope it will help them move forward.

“Kevin Shepherd took the life of his sister in a horrendous attack and I am glad we have been able to bring him to justice.”