A man who stabbed his parents hundreds of times in a frenzied attack before trying to flee the country has been jailed for life.
Lee Tipping, 36, inflicted more than 280 wounds on his mum and dad in total and will serve a minimum of 27 years for the violent killings.
He was found guilty of two counts of murder and was handed the minimum life sentence at Preston Crown Court on Thursday (28 July).
The 36-year-old stabbed his dad Anthony Tipping, 60, and mum Patricia Livesey, 57, to death just hours after he broke down a bedroom door, sparking a row, jurors heard.
Anthony suffered more than 130 stab wounds, including at least 65 in the chest and 15 in the abdomen during the vicious attack in November last year.
Patricia had been stabbed 153 times, including 67 times in the chest, 39 in the abdomen, 10 in the neck and three times around the eyes.
Jurors also heard that both parents had been beaten before they died, with Patricia suffering a black eye and a shoulder injury consistent with being hit with a blunt weapon.
The 57-year-old, of Higher Walton, Lancashire, had texted her sister saying “please God, I hope someone will help us” on the night of the attack.
How it happened
On 19 November last year, the couple went to a pub with Patricia’s sister Catherine Riding and her husband Martin.
The court heard that Anthony received a phone call from his son, who told him he had ‘kicked the bedroom door down’. Anthony is said to have responded: “You’d better f***ing not have.”
Mr Riding said that Patricia seemed ‘anxious’ about the situation, while Mrs Riding told the court her sister seemed ‘scared to go home’.
She said: “She said ‘this could be my last gin’. She didn’t want to go home. She’d never really said that before.
“I said why and she said she just didn’t want to go home. So I knew there was something.”
Shortly after arriving home, at around 11.30pm, Patricia texted her sister saying: “OK, I’ll probably not sleep, he’s being a f***ing s**t”, followed by a message ten minutes later which read: “Please God, I hope someone will help us”.
The following day, when Patricia failed to arrive at her mum’s house for dinner, Mrs Riding and her other sister, Pauline Haworth, visited the house to see if she was ok.
They called 999 at 1.43pm on 20 November and the couple’s bodies were found in the upstairs of the house later that day, after police broke down a side door.
After killing his parents, Tipping washed the knife and placed it into his father’s hand as he lay dead on the bathroom floor. He stepped over his mother’s body and booked a flight to Rome, before driving to Manchester Airport in a bid to leave the country.
He checked into a Premier Inn in Manchester city centre under a fake name and was later arrested at around 7.30pm on 21 November, a court heard.
In a victim impact statement, Anthony’s brother Stuart Tipping, said: “That day changed our world forever; we lost two people at once. The loss of Tricia and Anthony has not been like a normal bereavement.
“We never got to say goodbye, and we will never get to know the truth of what happened that night. Not only has this broken our family but our lives will never be the same again, we live in a horrid nightmare which no one would think could ever happen to them.
“Family holidays like Christmas and birthdays will never be the same, we would always gather as a family. The loss of Anthony and Tricia will always be felt and highlighted.”
He said Lee was cherished by his parents, who took him back into the family home after he was released from a mental health unit, against the advice of professionals.
Guilty of two counts of murder
Tipping claimed he had acted in self-defence and told police his father had been ‘bullying him all of his life’ and was ‘a monster’ who would ‘fight to the death’.
Following a four-week trial, a jury at Preston Crown Court rejected his defence and found him guilty of two counts of murder.
My Justice Goose told him that he did not believe his claims that his dad was a bully and his mum was neglectful, saying they provided the best of cae to their mentally ill son.
Handing down the sentence, he said the violence used by Tipping was “savage and extreme”.
The judge said he took into account Tipping’s mental health condition but noted he had stopped taking his medication and did not seek help when he started to feel his condition was deteriorating.
The judge said: “You did not know it would lead you to commit murder.”
Tipping will serve a minimum of 27 years and it will be for the Parole Board to determine whether he is ever fit to be released.
In a statement, Lancashire Police said: “Lee Tipping was arrested on suspicion of murder and was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act. After a full review he was deemed fit for interview and after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service he was charged with both murders.
“Tipping admitted to killing his parents but denied murder, claiming self-defence and loss of control against his father and loss of control in relation to the death of his mother. Following a four-week trial, a jury rejected his defence and found Tipping guilty of two counts of murder.”
Detective Chief Inspector Jill Johnston, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said after the sentencing: “I welcome the life sentence handed down to Lee Tipping by the courts, which reflects the seriousness of his offending and was aggravated by his lack of remorse.
“Although no sentence can and will never make up for the horrific, sustained and violent attack Lee subjected his parents to, I hope that Tricia and Anthony’s families and friends get some sense of closure knowing that this case has now come to a conclusion.
“They have remained incredibly dignified throughout this investigation and my thoughts remain with them at this very difficult time.”