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Newport man jailed for murdering mother-in-law in bed loses sentence appeal bid

04 Jul 2023 2 minute read
Royal Courts of Justice. Photo by antmoose is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

A former plumber who sexually assaulted and murdered his elderly mother-in-law has lost a Court of Appeal bid to reduce his sentence.

Simon Parks was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years after strangling 79-year-old Mari O’Flynn as she lay in bed at the home they shared in Newport, Gwent.

Cardiff Crown Court previously heard that Parks had repeatedly punched the mother-of-three in the face as she lay in bed, then strangled her to death on May 24 2022.

Parks also sexually assaulted Mrs O’Flynn, but it could not be determined whether it was before, during or after she died, his sentencing hearing was told.

The then-52-year-old was jailed in November last year after pleading guilty to the murder charge.

On Tuesday, Parks appeared via videolink at the Court of Appeal in London as a bid was made to challenge the length of his sentence.

However, three judges dismissed the appeal.

Mr Justice Jay, sitting with Lady Justice Carr and Judge Jeremy Richardson KC, said: “The appeal centred around an imbalance between the aggravating and mitigating factors in this case.”

The judge said the sentencing judge was entitled to find Parks had committed a murder “including sexual conduct” and that the judge could have increased the starting point of his sentence.

Mr Justice Jay concluded: “It follows this appeal must be dismissed.”

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