Hammer killer Hunnisett loses appeal against conviction

Hammer killer Hunnisett loses appeal against conviction

A Sussex killer who bludgeoned a lover to death with a hammer has lost an appeal against a murder conviction.

Christopher Hunnisett, 37, who now identifies as a woman called Crystal, killed Peter Bick, of Bexhill, in 2011.

Three judges were asked to consider whether new evidence that Hunnisett had a psychotic illness undermined the safety of the conviction.

But on Thursday they dismissed the appeal, saying there was “no proper basis to admit the fresh evidence”.

Hunnisett handed herself in at Hastings police station on 11 January 2011, hours after killing 57-year-old supermarket worker Mr Bick.

She claimed her motive was that he was a paedophile – although there was no evidence to support the claim.

Dame Victoria Sharp, who heard the appeal with two other judges, said the apparent basis for the fresh evidence was Hunnisett’s “delusional ideas”.

However, the judge said these delusions were described by those who examined Hunnisett ahead of the trial in 2012 and the jury had the opportunity to assess them before rejecting a defence of diminished responsibility.

She also said the defence of diminished responsibility was “firmly” before the jury, adding: “The issue of the appellant’s delusional ideation and its effect on her actions was central to the case.”

She concluded the fresh evidence went over the same ground as that presented at Hunnisett’s trial in 2012.

Mr Bick was murdered four months after Hunnisett was cleared of murdering the Rev Ronald Glazebrook at his home in St Leonards.

Hunnisett, then 18, had been convicted of Mr Glazebrook’s murder in 2002 after jurors heard she drowned the 81-year-old in the bath before asking a friend to help dismember the body.

That conviction was quashed after Hunnisett revealed she had been sexually abused by Mr Glazebrook.

She was later acquitted of Mr Glazebrook’s murder by a jury at a retrial in 2010.

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