Update: A man who stabbed his mother to death at her home in Lordswell Lane has been given life and told by a judge he needs psychiatric treatment.
Thomas Fisher, 22, of no fixed address, previously admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility when he appeared on court on 2nd October.
The court heard how Thomas Fisher, who had a history of severe mental health issues, substance abuse, and was likely suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, stabbed his mother, Fiona Fisher, while she slept in her home on 26th April.
Judge Christine Laing QC ordered he serve a minimum of two years before being considered for parole. He will only be released if and when he is deemed suitable by the parole board. She also said he would remain on licence for the rest of his life.
Thomas Fisher appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday (1st November) for sentencing.
Concern was raised for Fiona Fisher, 51 when her family and friends couldn’t get hold of her and the police were called. Officers attended her home in Lordswell Lane, Crowborough on Friday 27th April and found Fiona sadly dead. She died from a single stab wound to the chest.
Fiona’s parents and daughter, Megan have paid tribute to her:
Six months ago our world was torn apart when we were told that Fiona our beautiful daughter and mother to Megan, had been brutally murdered by her son. We will never get over the shock of losing her in such horrific circumstances, but she will never be forgotten by her family, friends and anybody else that had the pleasure of meeting her. Today should be closure on this senseless tragedy, but it will never be for her family. This is something we will have to live with for the rest of our days.
We would like to put on record that although the recommendation by the Crown Prosecution Service was to accept manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, it was our wish for Tom Fisher to stand trial for murder.
Our main aim today was to get justice for Fiona. She was in the prime of her life and there was no reason why she didn’t have many happy years ahead of her, many of which she would have had with her daughter Megan, mother Dorothy, stepfather Les, father Alun and brother Simon.
We now request that the family be left alone to grieve in private.
This is a tragic case for all those involved. My thoughts remain with Fiona’s family and friends who have been devastated her killing. I want to thank them for the way they have remained dignified throughout this horrendous ordeal.
Thomas Fisher, 22, of no fixed address, has also been charged with fraud, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
Fiona Fisher, 51, was found dead at her home in Lordswell Lane on Friday evening when officers attended the property after her family and friends couldn’t get hold of her.
Fiona died from a single stab wound to the chest.
There was a preliminary hearing at Hove Trial Centre on Tuesday.
The accused, who remains in custody, was able to watch and listen to the court proceedings via video link. He did not enter pleas to any of the charges.
The case will next be heard in court on 17th July.
The judge set the trial for September.
Fiona Fisher worked as a manager at L’Occitane in Tunbridge Wells. Her family have said she is irreplaceable:
Fiona will be sadly missed by her daughter Megan, her mother Dorothy and stepfather Les, as well as her father. There are no words to explain the love those around her felt for her, she is irreplaceable.
At this time we would please hope that everyone could respect our privacy and allow her friends and family to grieve.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team Mike Ashcroft today made a fresh appeal for information:
Our thoughts at this time are with those who knew Fiona Fisher.
We are still investigating the circumstances and anyone who has any information which might be able to help are asked to make contact with us.
Anyone with information should contact Sussex Police online or ring 101 quoting Operation Stonegate.