Andrew Parsons sentenced for Murder

On 24th May 2013 Andrew Parsons was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of wife, Janee Parsons, in December last year. It seems that he accepted killing her (the stabbing was caught on a dictaphone) but claimed that it was manslaughter rather than murder (probably on the basis of ‘loss of control‘). This claim was rejected by the Jury.

They had been married for eight years and had two children together, but it seems that by the time of the stabbing the marriage had broken down. A short while before the murder, Ms Parsons had met another man and had said that she would move out to be with him. Mr Parsons stabbed his wife 17 times following an argument about her new partner.

The mandatory sentence for murder is life imprisonment. What the Judge then has to do is set the ‘tariff’, the minimum period that has to be spent in prison before someone can be considered for release by the Parole Board. An overview of how Judges sentence people for murder can be found here.

In this case, the tariff was set at 20 years. Why so long (or, depending on your view, so short)? The starting point is 15 years, which can go up or (far less frequently down) depending on the other circumstances. Here, it is probably the case that the Judge made the tariff longer because of the severity of the attack, the fact that the children were around at the time of the attack.

We will have to see whether there is an appeal to properly judge whether that sentence was the right. On the face of it, it would seem to have been longer than necessary. The reasons for that is that whilst there are the aggravating features mentioned above, it seems that there was no history of violence in Mr Parsons and it was, to some extent, spontaneous. Against that, we would have expected a tariff of 15 years, or possibly just higher. Time will tell if we were right or if there is further information not in the news reports.

Lastly – the BBC phrased the sentence by saying that Mr Parsons “was told he must serve at least 20 years of his life sentence”. This is an accurate summary of what the sentence means, which should not be something of note, but sadly is. If I had a pound for every time such a sentence had been stated as 20 years as if it were a determinate sentence, then I wouldn’t be writing this now. I’d be off in the sun somewhere …

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About Dan Bunting

I'm a lawyer who works for myself. Legal geek, maths freak, general dullard and jack of all trades. Here’s a few views on law and occasional musings on life. Usual caveats about not relying on anything I say etc applies.

20 thoughts on “Andrew Parsons sentenced for Murder

  1. Sisterhood (@sisterhooduk)

    Maybe because he murdered her with their two year old child present, the child’s cries and distress caught on tape or maybe and also it’s wrong to murder anyone just because they no longer love you.

    1. Dan Bunting Post author

      No-one is saying that it’s right to kill someone because they no longer love you – obviously it’s not. And, whilst I agree that the 2 year old child being there is an aggravating feature, you have to have consistency in sentencing. I’m not sure I think those factors, when set against everything else, merit the 5 year ‘uplift’.

      1. Sisterhood (@sisterhooduk)

        Perhaps a slap on the wrist and don’t do it again or a 10 year deduction because his wife stopped loving him and his ego couldn’t handle the rejection, five years for the trauma he suffered having to witness her murder, inflicted by him, five more years deducted because he didn’t kill his child (who will undoutedly be traumatised for life) as a lot of “hell hath no fury like an egomaniac scorned” do. I expect to see him out any day now. It’s murder Dan. I personally hope he appeals and receives an indeterminate sentence and rots in jail.

      2. Dan Bunting Post author

        It’s not that. My view is that the sentencing for murder is too high – they’ve increased more and more over time. But whatever your view on that, given that there is a general view that there must be different sentences for different sorts of murder. Given the starting point of 15 years, I don’t believe that it merits an extra 25% on top of that. As I read it, there wasn’t a backdrop of abuse in the relationship and it was someone who ‘snapped’ against a backdrop of severe depression. It may be that that is just the news reports I read and I’ve got that wrong, but if not then it is far less serious than a lot of murders.

        But the sentence means what it says. If an appeal is unsuccessful, then he will have to spend at least 20 years in prison. The Court of Appeal can’t increase his sentence if he doesn’t win the appeal though.

  2. lola

    Dan – you said: “As I read it, there wasn’t a backdrop of abuse in the relationship and it was someone who ‘snapped’ against a backdrop of severe depression”. ————————————
    Her new partner said she’d told him her husband could be physically aggressive towards her, so clearly there WAS a backdrop of abuse. Further, to put a recording device under her bed to spy on her indicates a severely possessive and dangerous man. He tried to pretend she’d knifed him first and that because of that he ‘lost control’ whereas the recording proves this was a total fabrication. The guy is a cold calculated murdering scum and I hope he rots in hell for what he did to her and for the scars his son will never recover from.

  3. Andrew

    There won’t be too many who will miss him (I expect there are a few relations) and like Sisterhood and Lola I would not be sorry if he died in prison. But no, he does not fall within the whole-life bracket.

    I felt as angry about this animal as I did about the man who murdered that child Tia; they both make me loathe my gender. I was equally shaken by the woman who set fire to the push-chair who makes me loathe my species. Neither of them was whole-life country either.

    But Sisterhood, unless he appeals and gets something off – which I very much doubt – you won’t see him out soon.

  4. Sam

    Lola, their was no abuse in their relationship apart from that one day!
    She had investigated via the web how to get a divorce quicker to be with her lover who had money and this was a big thing for her, and one of those websites was “how to make out you were in an abusive relationship” and “how to cheat successfully” but you will not see that published in the media. He was wrong, for snapping but he did just that!.. she convinced the whole of our county they were in love, she would drape off him like a coat in public, his other female friends could not get near him, even just to say Hi. So she installed that nature of is just us against the world, which lead to his depression.
    Also their children are five and eight not two years old! And their dad was the prime career for both of them as she was not interested in being a mother and told him that. We all miss and mourn her so much. But even her family still love him, and they forgive him and they are equally devastated he got 20 years. So call him evil, wish him dead.. If you knew him, he spends every day wishing he was dead. He was so in love with her and we were all so in love with them. So I urge you to look at this at differently, he is not a mass murdered or a kiddie fiddler. He is a kind gentle soul who just went mental.. And I ask you have you ever lost your mind and been someone your not.

    1. lola

      Sam – you’re excusing his behaviour and implying (not subtly) that his wife was a horrible person that wasn’t interested in being a mother and was only interested in lovers who had money?! What came out at the trial was very clear. He left a recording device under her bed and having forgotten about it, was captured on the very same device murdering her even after hearing her pleas and his son’s pleas to ‘please stop’. He then lied and said she attacked him first which was proved to be a lie when the recording was heard. Defend him all you like, but the person you’re defending stabbed to death his wife in full view of his son without a thought for the consequences – and then calculatedly lied about the events to make himself out to be the victim. Thanks to his paranoid obsession with needing to know her every move, his crime was recorded and it proved him to be a liar. I notice you omitted any mention of this in your defence of him and your unpleasant attack on his wife – the victim.

    2. lola

      He is a kind gentle soul who just went mental.. And I ask you have you ever lost your mind and been someone your not.
      I’ve been in plenty of volatile situations as I imagine millions of people have at one point or another – but we don’t just murder people to resolve those situations. I’m amazed at how many people defend a murderer by saying they were ‘kind and gentle and loving’ etc etc. That’s exactly what the family of a man who stabbed to death ALL of his children said. He killed them to get revenge on his wife (who wanted to leave him after issues of violence) – but his family wouldn’t acknowledge the facts. Some people are just control freaks who cannot handle rejection and cannot handle someone else being with their loved one. We all have choices in life. Andrew Parsons made his choice when he murdered his wife. No one is to blame but him – no one.

  5. Andrew

    Let’s assume or pretend that she was as horrible as he believed, or claimed he believed.

    She was still a human being.

    And there’s the rub, isn’t it?

  6. Andrew

    Iola, when a man kills or wounds his wife or partner I don’t blame his family of origin if they continue to believe the best of him – he’s their son and brother, he means more to them than the victim. And that the media entertain their customers by getting them to do it publicly, well, you don’t think ill of a skunk because it stinks.

    Time and again in the mags’ courts we bail a man accused of d.v. to an address which turns out to be his mother’s or a sibling’s home; that’s the same loyalty at work.

    But the judge who must deal with the killer, or the magistrates who must sentence the wife-beater, must of course keep their feet on the ground and heed neither Mum who says “He’s a good boy really” nor the editor of the Daily Hate Mail who want him sent to the treadmill for life without parole.

    And of course all this applies in the rarer case of the female perp and the male victim.

    What I can’t get my head round, I have to admit, is how people express loyalty to their son or daughter who has also killed the children. That’s their grandchildren and understanding that is beyond me.

  7. Sam

    Oh Lola, you have no idea how much we loved her,and she did not deserve it all, that was not my point.
    You have only read the news and do not know the full story.. Why would they publish the real story?. What leads a gentle and soft man to do something so bad? Also be mindfully please as his children will no doubt google things later in life and they are doing ok at the moment but let’s just think more about them.

    1. H

      Was he thinking about the children when he punched her to the ground? Was he thinking about the children when he went downstairs to pick up a kitchen knife while she was lying on the landing dazed? Was he thinking of the children when he went back upstairs to stab her so many times? Was he thinking of his youngest son when he was pleading with his father to call an ambulance because his mother was dying in front of him? Was he thinking of his children when he drove his son to a friend and returning home before he even called the emergency services? One of the unavoidable consequence of his actions is that he should have been thinking of his children all along, instead he let his possessive and insecure personality come through in a period of sustained harassment despite being fully aware of what his wife wanted to do. In fact, the only reason she was still in that house is because she didn’t want to upset Christmas for her kids. Also, if she could have trusted him to be a reasonable person she wouldn’t have had to stay with him until her Visa was sorted. You say there was no abuse, dragging her down the stairs, punching holes through doors in a rage, taking away all ways of communication in anger, spying on her…if you think none of these amount to abuse I think you will find you are far more tolerant to abuse than most people are. The bottom line is that here was a woman who was ambitious, worked hard at two jobs and brought in the money whereas he was the one who just let her do that. he only started his business after she told him about her new relationship in a vain attempt to show her it could be different. Then he went to buy all his tools using her money. This is a pathetic man, who thought of no one but himself, all his actions where in reaction to his ego and feelings being hurt. There are no actions he has taken that indicate otherwise. Had he been this considerate loving man he would have let her go graciously, he would have been making arrangements for a good transition for the children and he would have listened to what was being said to him. Instead he was driven with feelings of selfishness, evaluating this tricky situation only from the point of view about how it was affecting him. Why do you think he hadn’t told anyone about what was happening? it was because his ego could not accept this. And now you have people who say they love him, forgive him and so forth, a courtesy not provided to the victim in his manic actions. I’m sure that it is easier to vilify the victim in this instance, after all, who will argue her case? Her family have to put up a façade to ensure ongoing amicable contact with the children, his family will undoubtedly find it easier to blame anyone but their son. The judge however in this instance looked at the facts. After a sustained period of harassment he killed her violently. He didn’t walk away after he punched her to the floor. He didn’t call the emergency services while she was struggling. No, he calculatedly walked away from her, saying she’s dead, ignoring her son’s pleas and cries, even hers. He has left two sons without their mother, he scarred his little five year old boy for life. If this doesn’t warrant 20 years, what does? it is much less than the sentence he has given both his sons.

      1. Sam

        Do not hold judgement. Your no more god than me. You pretend to know the events of the day… Were we there NO!

      2. lola

        Sam – at last. Your agenda revealed. The events were RECORDED, remember?? You talk of how you all ‘loved’ Lola and in ALL your posts, you excuse this murdering scum and slyly criticise the victim. Shame on you for defending a cold-blooded murderer who tried to lie his way out of this but was caught because of his OWN jealousy and possessiveness. And shame on you for not giving a damn about those poor children.

      3. lola

        Hi H – totally agree with your post. This murdering scumbag couldn’t stand anyone else to have his wife so he killed her to make sure of it. And he was clearly a lousy father too after subjecting his poor little son to a lifetime of nightmares witnessing daddy killing mummy right in front of his very eyes. But did the killer give a damn? No he didn’t. And then he tried to blame his wife saying she attacked him first!! If it wasn’t for the fact this nutjob forgot he’d left a tape recorder under her bed, he could have got away with murder, and probably gone on to murder someone else too (if they didn’t live up to his standards). This ‘Sam’ person is an apologist for a murderer and tries to lay the blame on Janee. Quite sick and perverse to defend such a piece of scum.

  8. Andrew

    Lola, spot on.

    Sam, come off it. Nobody has the right to do what this man did. Stop blaming her. Whatever her faults, and she obviously had some, don’t we all, she did not deserve what this man did to her – let alone to his children. Twenty minimum works for me.

  9. lola

    Andrew, I think Sam must be a close relative of the cold-blooded murderer or an enemy of Janee. All along this poster has made sly derogatory comments about Janee (while pretending she was much loved!!) and excusing the actions of a callous murderer (while pretending he was a lovely person (!!) who just happened to snap because of his wife!! The guy spied on her and controlled her and then when she wanted to leave, he stabbed her to death in front of his son. And ‘Sam’ would have you believe that it wasn’t even his fault. Crazy and disturbing if you ask me. Definitely has an agenda and definitely has no genuine feelings of love about the deceased. This ‘Sam’ seems to have a grudge against her and blames her for her own death, and thinks we’re so dim we can’t see past the insincerity of the ‘we all loved Janee’ tripe. Sam – let the dead rest in peace, and stop defending murderers. He was a nasty man who chose to stab his wife to death in front of a young child without giving a damn about the emotional scarring that would cause for LIFE. I hope he rots to death in prison where he belongs. No one is playing God here, but you defending a murderer and slagging off the poor dead wife is beyond reprehensible.

  10. Andrew

    If Sam is the murderer’s relation then like I said before I don’t blame him for taking his side – that is what family do. But I blame him for causing unnecessary upset to the victim’s family and friends by doing so publicly.

    Sam: if you are Andrew’s relation or friend then keep in touch with him by letter, by visits if it is practicable and you and he both wish it, by phone if he is allowed to: all honour to you if you do. But in public, including here: STFU!


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