Jennifer Lloyd, 56, pleaded guilty to the murder of 62-year-old Nigel Chapman at his home address in Upfield Close, #Horley, on 9 November 2020 at an earlier hearing.
The court heard she stabbed him twice in the heart claiming that she had acted in self-defence after she had gone round to visit him and when she tried to leave, he blocked her way and made her feel scared.
She grabbed a knife but claimed she was only trying to scare him. She told the court that he had tried to grab the knife away from her and that had “made her mad” so she stabbed him with it.
Lloyd then tried to cover her tracks by mopping the kitchen and bathroom floor with bleach before leaving him for dead in his house.
The court heard how Mr Chapman’s body was found just before 8am the next morning by his carer, who found him lying face down and not breathing, “with blood and bleach everywhere”.
An investigation was launched by the Surrey and Sussex Police Major Crime Team. House to house enquiries were carried out which established that Lloyd had been seen leaving the house carrying several carrier bags.
A search of the area, including the riverside and wooded area of Riverside Garden Park in Horley, was carried out by a police dog unit and a black bin liner was found containing plastic bottles of cleaning products, a white sheet and a blue check print shirt.
Lloyd was arrested on suspicion of murder at her home address later that morning.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Chris Friday said: “Our thoughts remain with Nigel Chapman’s family and friends and hope that the fact that Lloyd is now behind bars will help them come to terms with their loss.
“Lloyd had been friends with Nigel Chapman for several years. On the night that she killed him, she claimed he had made her feel scared, and that she stabbed him with the knife because he made her angry. She then tried to cover up what she had done using several bottles of bleach, before leaving him for dead.
“Unfortunately for her, she was not that good at covering her tracks as she was witnessed leaving the address carrying a bag which was later found dumped in the river nearby, containing a sheet from the house and Mr Chapman’s shirt, as well as the empty bottles of bleach.”
DI Friday added: “The team has worked tirelessly to piece all the evidence together, using witness statements and CCTV from the immediate area, to ensure that Lloyd was brought to justice for the brutal and callous way she took Nigel Chapman’s life.”