Man who confessed to killing Leeds woman Sarah Keith at her flat in Horsforth pleads guilty to murder

A man who confessed to killing a woman at her home in Leeds has pleaded guilty to murder.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:45 am

Carl Chadwick, 35, pleaded guilty to the murder of 26-year-old Sarah Keith when he appeared before Leeds Crown Court.

Ms Keith's body was found at her flat on Broadway, Horsforth, on Tuesday April 13.

The victim's relatives attended the court hearing yesterday (July 21) as it was expected that Chadwick would be sentenced.

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Carl Chadwick has pleaded guilty to murdering Sarah Keith at her flat in Horsforth.

Chadwick, of no fixed address, appeared in court via a video link from HMP Leeds.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC adjourned sentencing so a hearing can take place in which Chadwick is expected to give evidence before the court.

The court heard the Crown and Chadwick's lawyers were in disagreement over whether the murder involved "sexual intent".

The Judge said he wanted the defendant to appear in court to give evidence before deciding whether there was a sexual element to the killing.

Carl Chadwick pleaded guilty to murder at Leeds Crown Court.

Judge Marson said the minimum sentence Chadwick could be ordered to serve in custody could vary between 15 and 30 years depending on the outcome of the hearing.

Chadwick's barrister, Mark McKone QC, said: "He (Chadwick) is very anxious that the court does not find a link between sexual activity and the killing.

"He is therefore prepared to give evidence if that is something that the court would think appropriate to decide at this point."

Mr McKone continued: "This is a case where the defendant confessed to the matter and went into some details.

Sarah Keith

"It would not be appropriate for the prosecution to accept only certain parts of his confession and not others."

Judge Marson said: "I think it is far more satisfactory if the defendant has the opportunity of giving evidence under oath so I can form my view."

The case was adjourned for a day-long hearing which will take place on August 4.

Addressing the victim's relatives, the Judge said: "I am very sorry for any members of Sarah's family who are here and no doubt anticipated that the case would proceed to sentence today.

"I hope they understand that it is a huge exercise and it makes a difference."