Man left girlfriend ‘unrecognisable’ after beating her to death with crowbar
Topping chased Rosie down Pope Lane, in Preston, and continued to hit her with the crowbar as she lay unconscious on the ground. Rosie was hit more than 50 times in the attack (Picture: SWNS)
A man who brutally murdered his partner with a crowbar in the street has been jailed for life. Benjamin Topping, 25, left Rosie Darbyshire, 27, ‘unrecognisable’ after he senselessly attacked her on February 7.
A post mortem examination revealed the mum-of-one suffered facial injuries consisting of at least 50 separate blows.
She also had received bruising and cuts to her arms and hands from trying to defend herself.
A man and a woman who witnessed the attack were then also chased by Topping before the police arrived at the scene.
Seeing emergency vehicles turn up, Topping then threw the weapon at a third witness and ran to the rear of a property on Pope Lane.
He was arrested shortly afterwards and spat in the face of the officer who constable detained him.
Topping, of St George’s Road, Preston, pleaded guilty to murder at Preston Crown Court on May 23. He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 20 years in jail
Rosie’s family said they were relieved Topping had pleaded guilty to her murder, but added no sentence would ‘ever feel enough’.
They said: ‘No sentence will ever feel enough to show the value of Rosie’s life and the loss we feel. We want to thank the police involved in Rosie’s case and the prosecutor.
‘They have treated the case, us as a family and Rosie’s memory with invaluable respect and dignity.
‘Now we are no longer stuck in limbo we will try to live our new reality and ensure that Rosie’s son lives a happy life and will always share memories of his beautiful mum.’
DCI Geoff Hurst from Lancashire’s Force Major Investigation Team (FMIT) lead the investigation into Rosie’s murder.
After the sentencing he said: ‘Firstly, my thoughts, as well as those of my team, are with Rosie’s family at this dreadfully difficult time.
‘This was a senseless murder where a talented, defenceless young lady needlessly lost her life in the most appalling way. What’s worse is that she died close to the community where she lived.
‘Ben Topping is a dangerous individual who attacked Rosie with such savagery, she was unrecognisable and died almost straightaway.
‘He has left a nine-year-old boy without a mother and a family who will never be the same again.
‘I am pleased that he has pleaded guilty, sparing Rosie’s family the further trauma of having to sit through a trial.’
My view: This is beyond evil, senseless killing of an innocent young mother, killed in a brutal manner and the animal that murdered her, left her 9 year old son without a mother. It so so sad.