A Bideford man has been sentenced to life in prison today (Thursday) after being convicted of murdering his partner. Edgar Fairhurst, 74, was charged with the murder of Marjorie Elphick, 83, after her body was discovered at their home in Riverside Close, Bideford, in the early hours of Wednesday, December 30, last year. The jury found Fairhurst guilty of murder following a four-day trial and he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 20 years. Detective Inspector Sharon Donald, Senior Investigating Officer from the Major Crime Investigation team, said: Marjorie Elphick was an independent, active lady that was dearly loved by her son, niece, relatives and friends. In the early hours of December 30 Marjorie was subjected to an unprovoked, violent and sustained attack in her own bed; the perpetrator being her partner of 40 years Edgar Fairhurst. Tragically, Marjories injuries proved fatal and she died at the scene. Today justice has been served. I would like to thank the local officers and investigation team for their commitment and professionalism during this case, and reiterate my deepest condolences to Marjories family and loved ones for their tragic loss. Fairhurst admitted killing his partner but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Marjories family have paid tribute to her and said: Marjorie Elphick was a kind and vivacious woman. We have been devastated by her loss as she was not only a vibrant member of her community, and valued by her many friends, but was someone who meant a great deal to the four generations of our small family. Although she was 83, she was a healthy, active person with the promise of many more full years in front of her. This life has been cruelly cut short, and it will be very difficult for our family to envisage life without her.