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A former Leicestershire man has been sentenced to prison after he admitted strangling a woman to death in Nuneaton last year.

Chase Kelly, 31, previously of Hinckley, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility in February.

Picture: Warwickshire Police

Yesterday (Tuesday 26 July) he was sentenced to 14 years’ and nine months’ imprisonment, with a minimum term of nine years and nine months. He was also given a 17 month sentence to be served concurrently for assaulting a man in Ryton on Dunsmore in November 2020.

The incident happened on the morning of 1 June 2021, when officers were called to a house on College Street. Mildred Whitmore, 84, was tragically found deceased within the house.

At around 10am on the same day, police received a report of a man hiding in the bushes of a nearby school. Officers attended to find Chase Kelly with injuries to his arms and legs. He was subsequently arrested in connection with Mildred’s death, and charged on 3 June 2021.

The investigation found that Kelly had been in the area at around 4.40am, after a witness reported hearing a commotion and recorded him walking across the A444 towards George Eliot Hospital.

Following yesterday’s outcome, Detective Inspector Collette O’Keefe from Warwickshire Police said: “This was a tragic and senseless death of a much-loved lady, who is clearly missed by her family and friends.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone who knew her, and Mildred’s family has acted with dignity throughout the investigation and subsequent court proceedings.

“I’d like to acknowledge the work of all of the officers and staff involved in this case – from making the initial arrest of Kelly within hours of the incident, through to the charge and subsequent investigation to ensure this was brought before the courts.”

Mildred’s family have today issued the following tribute: “We have no words to describe how Chase Kelly has caused us to feel. Kelly took the life of our mother Mildred in such a brutal way and that loss is unbearable. Collectively as a family, our hearts are broken at the thought that we will never see her again.

“Despite this, Chase Kelly can never take away the memories of our caring mother and great grandmother. These memories will keep us strong through the dark times ahead.

“Our mother Mildred always played a big part in our lives, she was always there to offer love, care, and affection to all. Being in her company made us feel very safe and loved, she was the beating heart of our small family.

Picture: Warwickshire Police

“Knowing that our mother was brutally attacked in her own home leaves us devastated as a family. A place which was always her safe haven, turned into a place of terror in her final moments. This is something we will have to live with until the end of our own lives. Knowing that we were unable to protect the one person that we loved, cherished, and cared for unconditionally. Nobody should be attacked in their own home, especially an 84-year-old, 5ft, defenceless lady.

“We were all very proud of how independent our Mum lived and how she always kept herself fit and healthy. We as a family fully believe that our Mum would have still of had a number of years of her life to look forward to, if it had not been so cruelly taken away from her in the early hours of the 1 June 2021.

“We would like to thank all those that have supported the family and helped bring the successful prosecution of Chase Kelly for his actions last year. Albeit no sentence will ever be enough in our eyes for what happened to our mother. No other family should have to go through the pain that we have been dealing with and will have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

“We now ask for our privacy to be respected going forward, as we will not be giving any further comment.”