Prison for the man who confessed in truth or by daring to the murder of his mother-in-law | UK News | Local News

Prison for the man who confessed in truth or by daring to the murder of his mother-in-law | UK News

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A student has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his mother-in-law after confessing to the crime in a Truth or Dare game.

Tiernan Darnton, 21, who was arrested after a counselor alerted police to the confession, was told by a judge in Preston Crown Court that he had to serve at least 15 years of his sentence.

Her 94-year-old mother-in-law, Mary Gregory, was discovered under a table in the veranda of her smoky bungalow in Heysham, Lancashire, in May 2018. She died four days later in hospital.

His death was initially treated by fire investigators as an accident caused by a cigarette. But police reopened the case in May 2019 after being alerted to what Darnton said to a counselor.

He said he killed Gregory by setting a curtain on fire in his house and others knew about the crime.

Darnton had made a similar confession weeks after Gregory’s death, during a Truth or Dare game with two friends, the court heard.

“I have a secret that I haven’t told anyone. Maybe I killed someone, ”he told the couple. When in a hurry, he said he started the fire because he no longer wanted Gregory to have dementia, the court said.

Tiernan Darnton
Tiernan Darnton. Photograph: Lancashire Police / AP

He told the counselor in May 2019 about a friend “who might send me to jail because of what he knows”.

A week later, he told the councilor and his stepfather Chris Gregory, 66, that he had started the fire, the court was told. The counselor then informed the police.

Sentencing Darnton to life, Judge Yip told him, “The murder has been on your mind for some time. From your own evidence, you were fascinated by serial killers and their crimes. You were having dark thoughts.

“Your Internet searches before and after killing Ms. Gregory paint a disturbing picture.

“Your opportunity to act on your dark thoughts arose when your stepfather was away. In the early hours of May 28, 2018, you went to Ms Gregory’s home and deliberately started a fire in one of the bedrooms.

The judge continued, “It’s hard to imagine the horror Ms Gregory must have felt when she realized her house was on fire and was filling with smoke.

“The neighbors heard his cries. Despite her fragility, she tried to get out, but found herself trapped. The fire department found her near the veranda doors, where you had blocked her exit.

“His last days were spent in the hospital. Completely understandable, his condition at the time continues to haunt those who loved him. The way she was killed was particularly cruel.

The court heard that an examination of his cell phone and laptop revealed internet searches carried out after the fire, including “I am a murderer”, “I am a monster and I am going to hell”, ” I want to cause harm “and” Want to kill again “.

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