Northam Murder: Grieving family condemn killer's lies and cruelty

Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson - Credit: DC Police

The family of Northam murder victim Carol Hart have thanked the police for bringing him to justice. 

They revealed their heartache at losing Carol after carer Michael Robinson was jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 30 years for the killing. 

Carol, aged 77, was recovering from a broken hip and suffering from a painful spinal illness and arthritis that left her effectively bedbound and totally reliant on her carers. 

Robinson, aged 35, killed her after she discovered that he had been using her bank card to withdraw £5,650 from her account at cashpoints. It was half of her entire savings. 

In a joint statement following today’s sentence, Mrs Hart’s daughter Clare Geering and her half-sister Sheila Crighton revealed the torment of having to listen to Robinson’s attempts to explain away a mountain of forensic evidence. 

They had both watched every second of the trial at Exeter Crown Court either from the public gallery or remotely on the Cloud Video Platform system. 

After the case they said: “We have sat through Robinson’s lies and have listened to him saying that he loved her and that she viewed him like a grandson. We have sat through descriptions of how badly he beat her. 

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“Because this man murdered her, she will never now be able to meet her four real grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We will never again be able to visit her and spend time with her.  

“No one deserves to have this happen to them. We now must live with what he has done to Carol - our sister, our mother. 

“We must live with the memory of the violence he unleashed on her because he got caught stealing from her, because a man whose entire job was to care for her took her life brutally. 

“Carol always said she would live until she was 90 and she was such a feisty character we can well believe that would have happened if it had not been for Robinson. We are grateful for the tireless work of the police and the CPS in bringing this man to justice.” 

Detective Inspector Steph Blundell, from Devon and Cornwall Major Crime Investigation Team, welcomed today’s sentence. 

She said: “Mrs Hart was shocked and upset when she discovered that Robinson had stolen the money from her. She trusted him and had grown very fond of him but he abused his position of trust and stole thousands of pounds from her for his own personal use. 

“In order to silence her, he then viciously and cowardly attacked Carol in her own home while she lay defenceless in the hospital bed in her living room. Robinson attacked Carol, strangled her, and inflicted terrible head injuries, which led to her death. 

“This has been a complex and protracted investigation which has drawn out Robinson’s lies and the attempts he made to explain away the evidence found against him. 

“The thorough and detailed investigation led the jury to see his explanations for what they were; a fanciful tale of lies fabricated in order to get away with this most heinous of crimes. 

“I would like to thank the prosecution team and the members of the public who came forward to assist the investigation and provide evidence in this case. 

“I commend Carol’s family for the dignity they have demonstrated throughout the trial and express my deepest condolences for the loss they have suffered. I hope that today’s outcome will bring some comfort to them.”

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