Family pay tribute to murdered sister

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The family of a vulnerable Mansfield woman who was murdered by her boyfriend when he set her alight have paid a tearful tribute, saying ‘life will never be the same again’.

Carlyn Hyatt died when her 42-year-old partner, David Dunstan, doused her white spirit and torched her.

She died in hospital weeks later following a stroke brought on by her injuries.

Dunstan, of Redgate Close, was told he must serve at least 25 years for the ‘horrifying’ attack in August last year.

Carolyn Hyatt had grown up in Pleasley, living on Chesterfield Road.

She suffered from meningitis as a child and her development was restricted as a result.

35, Linden Street, Shirebrook

35, Linden Street, Shirebrook

She had learning difficulties and had the mind of a 12 year-old, attending special schools Redgate and then Beech Hill.

Outlining the case for the prosecution at Derby Crown Court, Shaun Smith QC said because of her vulnerability, Miss Hyatt often entered into relationships that ‘proved abusive’.

He said that Miss Hyatt had known Dunstan for about nine months before they began a relationship.

He quickly moved into her flat on Redgate Close in Mansfield and had only been together about a month before that fateful night.

In an emotional tribute, Miss Hyatt’s sister, Kathryn Ann Patrick, said: “She was a caring person who always looked to help people.

“She was a trusting person who thought everyone was okay and had good in them.”

Speaking about the night that Dunstan attacked Miss Hyatt, she said: “I received a phone call that turned my life and my family’s upside down.

“It took our family to a deep dark place.

“My view and my family’s view of the world has changed.”

Carolyn’s older sister Alison Davies said: “Since Carolyn’s death, it feels that someone has re-written our past.

“I feel that Carolyn’s life has been snatched away and she should be alive today.

“We miss her so much. Life will not be the same for us without her.

“There are no words that can ever express the shock and devastation that has been caused to our family by what David Dunstan did to her.”

Carolyn also leaves behind her father, Graham Davies and two nieces, Zena and Gina.

Sentenced

Mansfield man David Dunstan was handed a life sentence for killing his girlfriend.

He was told he must serve at least 25 years for the ‘horrifying’ attack on 43-year-old Carolyn Hyatt in August last year.

Ms Hyatt had special needs and other health problems, having suffered with diabetes and a number of strokes which affected her mobility.

Derby Crown Court was told how Ms Hyatt had made a desperate 999 call in the early hours of August 6 last year to say her boyfriend had set her on fire.

The recording of the call was played to the court during the recent sentencing hearing, where Ms Hyatt could be heard saying it was Dunstan who hurt her.

She was taken to hospital but a decision was made to turn off her life-support machine three weeks later after she suffered another stroke, brought on by her injuries.

Dunstan was initially charged with GBH, which was eventually changed to murder in the wake of her death.

The court was told how the pair, who had only been together a month, had been living at Ms Hyatt’s flat on Redgate Close, but had gone to stay at Dunstan’s mother’s bungalow on Linden Street, Shirebrook, while she was away.

Dunstan admitted murder but claimed he could not remember the incident that led to Ms Hyatt’s death.

However, a bottle of white spirit was found at the scene.

She had suffered 20 per cent burns to her back, arm, neck and face, while she also had two lacerations to her head, which was from a walking stick that Dunstan had hit her with and was found covered in blood.

Forensics suggested she had been set on fire in the living room and she had rushed to the bathroom to put out the flames.

It was not ascertained whether Dunstan hit her with the walking stick before or after he set her on fire.

Equally, it could not be confirmed whether Dunstan had helped her douse the flames.

She then got into bed and sometime later made the 999 call.

When the paramedics arrived, Dunstan said he could not let them in because he could not find the key, but eventually relented and unlocked the door 10 minutes later.

The paramedics said she was screaming in pain and covered in blood.

They said there was a smokey atmosphere in the bungalow, with a strong smell of lighter fluid or turps.

Dunstan calmly told paramedics that they had been ‘playfighting’.

In mitigation, Dunstan’s barrister Michael Evans said his client had suffered from an alcohol addiction for years, and said he was a different person when he was sober.

“You would not recognise the man sitting here sober as the man from that night,” he said.

“He accepts what he must have done but can’t believe he was capable of doing to someone he loved.

“His remorse his genuine.”

In terms of sentencing, Mr Evans suggested that crime was not as serious as pouring petrol through the letterbox of a home and torching the property to endanger life, because that would be premeditated.

However, Judge John Burgess disagreed.

He told Dunstan: “The facts of this case are both depressing and horrifying.

“A 43-year-old woman died as a result of a stroke prompted by the injuries she suffered when she was set on fire by you.

“Carolyn Hyatt was a vulnerable woman, her final misfortune was to get involved with you, David Dunstan.

“Even though you were to claim during interview that you had blacked out and could not remember what had happened, it was obvious from what Miss Hyatt said at the time, and from the discovery of a bottle of white spirit with your finger prints on, that you had set fire to her.

“Although you did not pour petrol into her home, you poured white spirit onto her directly, it is arguable that this is worse than setting her house on fire.

“Though you claim you can’t remember what happened, it’s obvious that you set fire to her.

“It was a terrible thing that you did.”

He jailed Dunstan for 25 years minimum, minus the 278 days he had already spent in custody.

He was told that he would only be released when the parole board felt he was fit.

Support

Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Meadows said after sentencing: “This was an abhorrent crime. Not only did Dunstan brutally attack Carolyn but he abused the trust she had placed in him as a very new partner.

“He also abused the trust of his own unsuspecting mother by committing the attack in her home while she was away on holiday.

“Carolyn was a much-loved sister and her devastated family will live with the consequences of her loss for the rest of their lives.

“I hope this guilty plea and the very substantial sentence will help to bring some form of closure for her family.

“No one should ever suffer the way Carolyn did that night or during the time she spent in hospital.

“We take reports of domestic abuse very seriously in Derbyshire.

“If you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic abuse, I would urge you to come forward and speak to us.

“We have specially trained officers on hand to support you. Please don’t suffer in silence.”

David Dunston, pictured above, set fire to Carolyn Hyatt , pictured right, at his mother’s home on Linden Street. gdfggdfg

‘The facts of the case are both depressing and horrifying’

‘I received a phone call that turned my life around’

Family pay tribute to murdered Mansfield sister

Family pay tribute to sister torched by her lover

The family of a vulnerable Mansfield woman who was murdered by her boyfriend when he set her alight have paid a tearful tribute, saying ‘life will never be the same again’.

Carlyn Hyatt died when her 42-year-old partner, David Dunstan, doused her white spirit and torched her.

She died in hospital weeks later following a stroke brought on by her injuries.

Dunstan, of Redgate Close, was told he must serve at least 25 years for the ‘horrifying’ attack in August last year.

Carolyn Hyatt had grown up in Pleasley, living on Chesterfield Road.

She suffered from meningitis as a child and her development was restricted as a result.

She had learning difficulties and had the mind of a 12 year-old, attending special schools Redgate and then Beech Hill.

Outlining the case for the prosecution at Derby Crown Court, Shaun Smith QC said because of her vulnerability, Miss Hyatt often entered into relationships that ‘proved abusive’.

He said that Miss Hyatt had known Dunstan for about nine months before they began a relationship.

He quickly moved into her flat on Redgate Close in Mansfield and had only been together about a month before that fateful night.

In an emotional tribute, Miss Hyatt’s sister, Kathryn Ann Patrick, said: “She was a caring person who always looked to help people.

“She was a trusting person who thought everyone was okay and had good in them.”

Speaking about the night that Dunstan attacked Miss Hyatt, she said: “I received a phone call that turned my life and my family’s upside down.

“It took our family to a deep dark place.

“My view and my family’s view of the world has changed.”

Carolyn’s older sister Alison Davies said: “Since Carolyn’s death, it feels that someone has re-written our past.

“I feel that Carolyn’s life has been snatched away and she should be alive today.

“We miss her so much. Life will not be the same for us without her.

“There are no words that can ever express the shock and devastation that has been caused to our family by what David Dunstan did to her.”

Carolyn also leaves behind her father, Graham Davies and two nieces, Zena and Gina.

Sentenced

Mansfield man David Dunstan was handed a life sentence for killing his girlfriend.

He was told he must serve at least 25 years for the ‘horrifying’ attack on 43-year-old Carolyn Hyatt in August last year.

Ms Hyatt had special needs and other health problems, having suffered with diabetes and a number of strokes which affected her mobility.

Derby Crown Court was told how Ms Hyatt had made a desperate 999 call in the early hours of August 6 last year to say her boyfriend had set her on fire.

The recording of the call was played to the court during the recent sentencing hearing, where Ms Hyatt could be heard saying it was Dunstan who hurt her.

She was taken to hospital but a decision was made to turn off her life-support machine three weeks later after she suffered another stroke, brought on by her injuries.

Dunstan was initially charged with GBH, which was eventually changed to murder in the wake of her death.

The court was told how the pair, who had only been together a month, had been living at Ms Hyatt’s flat on Redgate Close, but had gone to stay at Dunstan’s mother’s bungalow on Linden Street, Shirebrook, while she was away.

Dunstan admitted murder but claimed he could not remember the incident that led to Ms Hyatt’s death.

However, a bottle of white spirit was found at the scene.

She had suffered 20 per cent burns to her back, arm, neck and face, while she also had two lacerations to her head, which was from a walking stick that Dunstan had hit her with and was found covered in blood.

Forensics suggested she had been set on fire in the living room and she had rushed to the bathroom to put out the flames.

It was not ascertained whether Dunstan hit her with the walking stick before or after he set her on fire.

Equally, it could not be confirmed whether Dunstan had helped her douse the flames.

She then got into bed and sometime later made the 999 call.

When the paramedics arrived, Dunstan said he could not let them in because he could not find the key, but eventually relented and unlocked the door 10 minutes later.

The paramedics said she was screaming in pain and covered in blood.

They said there was a smokey atmosphere in the bungalow, with a strong smell of lighter fluid or turps.

Dunstan calmly told paramedics that they had been ‘playfighting’.

In mitigation, Dunstan’s barrister Michael Evans said his client had suffered from an alcohol addiction for years, and said he was a different person when he was sober.

“You would not recognise the man sitting here sober as the man from that night,” he said.

“He accepts what he must have done but can’t believe he was capable of doing to someone he loved.

“His remorse his genuine.”

In terms of sentencing, Mr Evans suggested that crime was not as serious as pouring petrol through the letterbox of a home and torching the property to endanger life, because that would be premeditated.

However, Judge John Burgess disagreed.

He told Dunstan: “The facts of this case are both depressing and horrifying.

“A 43-year-old woman died as a result of a stroke prompted by the injuries she suffered when she was set on fire by you.

“Carolyn Hyatt was a vulnerable woman, her final misfortune was to get involved with you, David Dunstan.

“Even though you were to claim during interview that you had blacked out and could not remember what had happened, it was obvious from what Miss Hyatt said at the time, and from the discovery of a bottle of white spirit with your finger prints on, that you had set fire to her.

“Although you did not pour petrol into her home, you poured white spirit onto her directly, it is arguable that this is worse than setting her house on fire.

“Though you claim you can’t remember what happened, it’s obvious that you set fire to her.

“It was a terrible thing that you did.”

He jailed Dunstan for 25 years minimum, minus the 278 days he had already spent in custody.

He was told that he would only be released when the parole board felt he was fit.

Support

Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Meadows said after sentencing: “This was an abhorrent crime. Not only did Dunstan brutally attack Carolyn but he abused the trust she had placed in him as a very new partner.

“He also abused the trust of his own unsuspecting mother by committing the attack in her home while she was away on holiday.

“Carolyn was a much-loved sister and her devastated family will live with the consequences of her loss for the rest of their lives.

“I hope this guilty plea and the very substantial sentence will help to bring some form of closure for her family.

“No one should ever suffer the way Carolyn did that night or during the time she spent in hospital.

“We take reports of domestic abuse very seriously in Derbyshire.

“If you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic abuse, I would urge you to come forward and speak to us.

“We have specially trained officers on hand to support you. Please don’t suffer in silence.”