Woman who killed dad with TV remote faces time in jail
World / 28 August 2019, 06:11am / DAILY MAIL REPORTER
London - A daughter who killed her frail father with a television remote control has become the first woman convicted of causing death in such a way.
Nicola Townsend, 50, was found guilty of manslaughter.
She hurled the remote control at Terence Townsend, 78, in a fit of temper, hitting his head. When he went to the kitchen to tend to his wounds, she pushed him over, breaking several of his ribs.
Mr Townsend called an ambulance after his daughter fled, Bristol Crown Court was told.
Paramedics arrived at his home in Bath on December 27, 2017, and found him sitting in an armchair holding a towel to a wound on his head.
The pensioner, who suffered with osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones more likely to break, initially said he had fallen over and hit his head. He was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath but died from pneumonia 12 days later.
However, it emerged that Townsend had thrown the control at him after she became "frustrated and angry".
Townsend was also found guilty of intimidation of a witness after contacting her brother-in-law Douglas Campbell when she was charged with manslaughter. She admitted to Mr Campbell in a series of voicemails and phone calls that she had assaulted her father, her trial heard.
Mr Campbell contacted the police after her tone became increasingly alarming.
The messages included threats such as, "I am going to make sure you pay for this – people will be looking at you in disgust", "I am going to make sure you suffered as I have suffered" and "Everybody will know what a stupidly arrogant person you are".
Fiona Elder, prosecuting, said: "She also said “If I do kill myself in the end you should feel guilty for making me do it”.
"It was threats, intimidation and emotional blackmail. She told him: “I would advise you don’t go to court – I will know what you are saying. It is best you just say you want to stay out of it.” The messages she left – can they be interpreted in any other way than trying to interfere with the course of justice?"
Miss Elder added: "Nicola Townsend says she chucked a remote at Terence Townsend because she was annoyed with him, because of how he was speaking to her, because she was frustrated and angry with him.
"She assaulted him in the living room then pushed him in the kitchen. She was aware of the frailty of her father." Townsend was remanded on bail to await sentence.
Judge Peter Blair QC told her: "A prison sentence is likely. This is a very sad case."
In the first case of its type, in 2009, electrical engineer Paul Harvey, 47, of Euston, London, admitted killed his wife by throwing a remote control at her.
Gloria Laguna, 48, died from a brain haemorrhage after the device hit a weak artery in her neck.
Harvey admitted manslaughter. His jail sentence was cut from three years to 21 months after the Court of Appeal heard that neither he nor his wife knew she had a weak artery and her death was a fluke.