Man sentenced to life in prison following murder of 87 year-old in Reigate
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Guy Douglas Unmack, aged 46 years of Warren Road, Reigate, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum period of 19 years after being found guilty of the murder of his 87-year-old neighbour last year.
Rosemary Hill was a well-known figure in the local community and was cutting sprigs of rosemary from a neighbour’s garden when she was attacked by Unmack on Sunday, 21 June.
As a resident of Warren Road for many years, Rosemary was retired and lived alone following the death of her husband. She was a talented musician who, prior to her career teaching across Surrey, enjoyed an international career as a clarinettist in multiple renowned orchestras. Rosemary had expressed how much she was looking forward to spending more time with her children and grand-daughter with plans to go on holiday with them once the lockdown had lifted.
On the day of the assault, Rosemary had enjoyed a walk in the local area with her son. At around 5pm, she went to a neighbour’s front garden to cut some herbs. Without warning, she was approached by Unmack who hit her over the back of the head with a cricket bat, causing her to fall to the ground unconscious. Witnesses described it as a completely unprovoked attack.
Mrs Hill was taken to hospital where she sadly died four days later. A post-mortem examination recorded her cause of death as a severe blunt force head injury.
Speaking after her tragic death her children said that Rosemary’s untimely death has caused them to lose what should have been happy family time together.
“A life full of caring and enabling other people to achieve their full potential was cruelly cut short.”
Unmack was arrested shortly after the attack on suspicion of attempt murder. Following his arrest, he was assessed and deemed to be mentally unfit for interview and detention. He was place under an involuntary order under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act and was subsequently moved to a secure hospital.
The investigation, named Operation Baritone continued, with officers working to gather the evidence required, resulting in Unmack being re-arrested once fit to be interviewed and subsequently charged with murder on Wednesday 2, October.
He appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (24 June) where he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum period of 19 years.
Following the sentence, Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Charlotte Rimmer said: “Rosemary Hill’s murder shocked the local community, and left those who knew her bereft.”
“Her family are devastated following her death and our thoughts remain with them at this extremely difficult time. While nothing can bring Mrs Hill back, I hope that the trial and sentence today will give them some form of closure.”