Rayleigh woman convicted of murder after fatal stabbing of boyfriend

A woman has been convicted of murdering a man during a disturbance in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2021.

Hannah Sindrey was arrested after officers responded to reports of a stabbing in Worcester Drive, Rayleigh, shortly before 1am on January 1, 2021.

When officers arrived, they found 31-year-old Paul Fletcher had been stabbed.

He died at the scene.

During the investigation, it emerged an argument had broken out between Sindrey, Mr Fletcher’s girlfriend at the time, and Mr Fletcher.

Sindrey’s friend, Kelly Blackwell, was also involved in the argument.

During the fracas, Mr Fletcher, also known as ‘Dod’, was stabbed in the chest after he had taken phones from Miss Blackwell and another person in the flat.

When the first officers on scene asked what had happened, Miss Blackwell told them: “Hannah [Sindrey] stabbed him. She is his girlfriend.”

A witness also stated mum-of-three Sindrey was seen holding a kitchen knife and waving it in an aggressive manner towards Mr Fletcher.

Moments later, he fell to the ground.

When questioned, both women blamed each other for Mr Fletcher’s death.

Detectives began investigating Mr Fletcher’s murder as a joint enterprise attack and charged Sindrey and Miss Blackwell with murder.

Sindrey, 24, of Worcester Drive, Rayleigh, and Blackwell, 26, of Retort Close, Southend, both denied murder.

After almost 14 hours of deliberations, a jury at Basildon Crown Court today, Thursday January 20, found Sindrey guilty of murder. She will be sentenced at the same court tomorrow.

Miss Blackwell was found not guilty of murder and will be released immediately.

In a statement, Mr Fletcher’s family said: “Our family have been devastated and are heartbroken following the death of Paul ‘Dod’ Fletcher.

“On the fateful night that his life ended, it destroyed so many other lives as well.

“Dod was a big part of everyone’s life. He was loved deeply by our family. He was a son, brother and father. His death has left us broken.”

They added: ‘We would like to thank the ambulance service for their efforts on the night Dod died. We also want to thank the detectives involved in the investigation for all their hard work, in particular, the support and understanding of our family liaison officer.”

Senior investigating officer Julie Gowen, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This has been a challenging and intensive investigation as my team tirelessly pieced together the hours and minutes which led up to the death of Mr Fletcher in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

“Sindrey’s actions have not only destroyed the lives of Paul’s family and friends, but also her own family.

“Today’s outcome can never bring Paul back, but I hope it can bring his family some justice, and can give them some peace to allow them to move forward with their lives.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]