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Tiernan Darnton: Scholar responsible of murdering step-grandmother after ‘fact or dare’ sport confession | UK Information

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A pupil has been discovered responsible of murdering his step-grandmother after admitting to pals he had killed her throughout a sport of “fact or dare” – with a coroner initially ruling the 94-year-old had died in an unintended fireplace.

Mary Gregory was found beneath a desk within the conservatory of her smoke-logged bungalow in Heysham, Lancashire, within the early hours of 28 Could 2018.

She died in hospital 4 days later.

A Lancashire Hearth and Rescue service investigation concluded essentially the most possible trigger was a dropped cigarette and dominated out any third get together involvement.

A coroner due to this fact reached a verdict of unintended loss of life.

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Nevertheless, police reopened the case a 12 months later after Mrs Gregory’s step-grandson Tiernan Darnton admitted throughout a counselling session that he had killed her.

The 21-year-old stated he had used a lighter to set a curtain on fireplace on the deal with in Levens Drive.

In the course of the police inquiry it emerged Darnton had made an identical confession a number of weeks after Mrs Gregory’s loss of life, the place he revealed his “darkest secret” throughout a sport of fact or dare with two pals.

He instructed the pair: “I’ve a secret I have never instructed anybody. I could have killed somebody.”

When requested to say extra, he instructed his pals he began the fireplace as a result of he didn’t need Mrs Gregory to endure from dementia any longer, Preston Crown Courtroom heard.

Darnton’s pals didn’t consider him and he persuaded them to maintain quiet.

Nevertheless, he instructed a counsellor in Could 2019 a few pal “who may ship me to jail cos of what he is aware of”.

Darnton added that he had felt “highly effective” at an occasion involving an individual who had died – regarded as Mrs Gregory’s funeral – as he “knew what had occurred and everybody else within the room did not”.

Mary Gregory, 94, died in hospital 4 days after the fireplace

The feminine counsellor ended the session by saying to him “I am probably not clear what you are saying however I believe you are attempting to inform me you’ve got killed somebody”, to which Darnton mouthed “sure”.

Per week later he instructed each the counsellor and his 66-year-old stepfather Chris Gregory that he had began the fireplace.

The counsellor then instructed the police, the court docket was instructed.

Earlier than the fireplace, Darnton had positioned a desk in entrance of the conservatory doorways, unplugged a cellphone cable and dismantled a smoke alarm in case Mrs Gregory tried to flee.

Proof proven to the jury additionally included drawings discovered at Darnton’s dwelling deal with, outlining the ground plan of Mrs Gregory’s bungalow. They contained labels together with “good hiding place” and “fast exit”, in addition to references to needing a “good alibi”.

Earlier than the unanimous verdict was learn out, Darnton closed his eyes briefly and his step-father rushed out of the courtroom as different family members, who have been sitting other than Mr Gregory, broke down in tears.

Darnton, a former pupil at Kendal Faculty and Lancaster & Morecambe Faculty, had been arrested at his household dwelling in Combermere Highway, Heysham, in Could 2019.

Examination of his cell phone and laptop computer discovered web searches made after the fireplace together with “I am a assassin”, “I am a monster and I will hell”, “I need to trigger evil” and “urge to kill once more”.

The coed, who was 17 on the time of the fireplace, had additionally searched “beneath 18 homicide”.

Giving proof at his trial, Darnton stated the case was “all a giant misunderstanding” and his confessions have been false.

He stated he solely needed to impress his “edgy” pals within the fact or dare sport and felt he needed to say one thing plausible, though he knew it was “tousled”.

Tiernan Darnton who has been convicted of the murder of his 94-year-old step-grandmother
Evidence: drawings found at Darnton’s home address outlining the floorplan of Mrs Gregory’s bungalow. They contained labels including “good hiding place” and “quick exit” and references for needing a “good alibi”.
Drawings discovered at Darnton’s dwelling deal with outlined the floorplan of Mrs Gregory’s bungalow

Darnton stated his feedback to the counsellor that he had killed anyone have been “attention-seeking” however denied saying he had set his step-grandmother’s home alight.

He claimed his Google searches have been associated to his curiosity in killers and true crime, and stated he didn’t even perceive on the time the true definition in legislation of homicide.

Mr Gregory, giving proof for the defence, stated through the trial that Darnton – whom he home-schooled – had been affected by melancholy for a variety of years and was “stricken by intrusive ideas which have been very, very disturbing”.

He instructed the jury he would have taken Darnton to the police himself if he believed he had harm his mom in any method.

Following the decision, Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo, from Lancashire Police, stated: “Darnton usually visited Mrs Gregory’s dwelling after her son took him beneath his wing at a younger age.

“Darnton would spend time at Mrs Gregory’s bungalow and never solely took benefit of Mrs Gregory’s form nature, he additionally used his entry to her dwelling to meticulously plan his murderous act.”

Sentencing will happen on Friday.

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