The ex-partner of a Herstmonceux woman has been jailed for life, after admitting to her murder.
50-year-old Gerald Palmer, from Battle, will serve at least 22 years behind bars for stabbing Carrie Izzard to death in her home earlier this year.
On Sunday 20 March, 47-year-old Carrie spoke on the phone to her mother explaining that she had ended her relationship with Palmer, known as Gerry, some days earlier. He had moved out of her Herstmonceux home and she was now feeling optimistic about her future. Carrie ended the call to her mother at around 11am, stating that she thought Gerry was at the door and that she would phone her back.
Carrie had met Palmer as a result of them having shops close to each other in Sidley, near Bexhill. In 2014 when Carrie’s husband died suddenly of a heart attack, Palmer befriended Carrie and they started a relationship. They ran a tackle business from her shop during the time they spent together. However, Carrie, a successful business woman, became suspicious of Palmer’s behaviour and suspected he was cheating on her, so she ended the relationship.
Palmer upset by his break up with Carrie had left Wyland Angling Centre in Powdermill Lane, Battle, where he owned a shop, and drove to Carrie’s home in West End, Herstmonceux.
When she answered the door, he attacked her in the hallway with a knife, stabbing her 29 times. Leaving her to die from her injuries, he cleaned himself up and leaving the knife in the bathroom sink, took Carrie’s shop takings and her house key before returning to the angling centre.
Growing concerned that Carrie hadn’t returned calls to her mother or sister, the following day they drove to Carrie’s home. When they arrived it was clear to them that something was amiss and they called police. Officers attended and found Carrie’s body slumped against a door inside the house.
They told officers about Carrie’s relationship with Palmer and they believed he had visited shortly after her mother last spoke to her. Palmer then became the primary suspect for her murder.
Officers started searching for Palmer sand he was soon found at the angling centre where he was also renting a chalet. He had knife wounds to his neck and abdomen, and was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton. His self-inflicted wounds were superficial and he was taken into police custody later that evening.
Palmer provided a “no comment” interview to police but was charged with murder and originally pleaded not guilty. At Hove Crown Court on today (6 September) he decided to plead guilty to murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 22 years.
Detective Superintendent Jason Taylor, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said, “Palmer has been exposed as a man who wheedled his way into Carrie’s life at a time when she was most vulnerable and then sought to control her. Palmer was a manipulative man who gave little but took a lot. When Carrie finally broke free, he could not accept it; and when his initial attempts to win her back were unsuccessful, he became spiteful and bitter, tragically ending her life in a violent and cruel way.”
“Palmer has been convicted and given a substantial prison sentence. Although this can never undo what he has done to Carrie and her family, I hope it will bring some justice for them.”
Carrie's family said, “The loss of Carrie was and still is a devastating shock and in such violent, unloving and cruel circumstances is something which we will never recover from.
“The realisation of losing her hits us in waves and we are still finding it hard to deal with our loss. We will never again be able to share the joys of life, see her bright smile, hear her laugh, sing or banter with her in humour which we shared. Following her death, we were denied being able to see her to say goodbye.
“We will never get over the loss of Carrie in such tragic circumstances and we are overwhelmed by the way that our own lives have changed and the future will no longer be as planned.
“The full reality of what has happened has not fully hit us yet and when we think of how Carrie spent her last minutes we feel immense hurt and sadness that they were not spent hearing kind loving words and actions but that of fear, disbelief and pain.
“Following the guilty plea, we hope the sentence reflects the full gravity of the circumstances in which she died.
“We wish to thank Sussex Police, victim support and our family and friends for the support we have received during what has been a very difficult time in our lives.
“We now wish to be able to grieve in the knowledge that justice has been done and that in time we can put aside the horror of Carrie’s death and remember the happy times which we all shared.”
Photo courtesy of Sussex Police