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Homeless woman found guilty of killing good Samaritan

Karl Pound and Mary Cash
Karl Pound and Mary Cash

A homeless woman has been convicted of killing a Good Samaritan who allowed her to stay at his house.

Mary Cash, 39, was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at Northampton Crown Court despite claiming she was not responsible for the death of Robert Chester.

Her co-defendant Karl Pound, aged 51 and of no fixed address, had previously pleaded guilty to murder at the start of their trial.

In a statement issued after Cash's conviction, Northamptonshire Police said the 54-year-old victim welcomed her into his home on Rothersthorpe Road, Northampton, on October 8 last year.

Mr Chester was later stabbed eight times and then set on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence of the murder.

Neighbours who saw the blaze called the fire service at 12pm, and firefighters discovered the victim's body in his sitting room.

Both Pound and Cash - who have yet to be sentenced - initially pleaded not guilty, blaming each other for the murder.

Cash had denied murder - claiming that Pound had stabbed Mr Chester following an argument over a £10 note - but was found guilty of manslaughter.

Commenting on the offence, Detective Inspector Louise Hemingway, who led the investigation, said: "Robert was known by his neighbours to be a quiet man who never caused any issues or harmed anyone.

"He kept himself to himself and lived a simple life with a fixed routine. It was this fixed routine that led his neighbours to notice that he had visitors on the 8th of October.

"It appears that an act of kindness by Robert was a fatal mistake. He offered to take in two people who might otherwise have had to spend a night out on the streets on a cold October night.

"They repaid this act of kindness by attacking him, stabbing him in his own house and then setting a fire to cover their tracks.

"I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Robert's family and friends and hope that the conviction will help bring some comfort to them."