Woman sentenced over malicious card

A woman who sent a "distressing" Christmas card, containing letters cut from newspapers, to the daughter of a murder victim has been given a community sentence, police said.

Sharon Hills, 47, of Hillbrow Road, Ashford, Kent, was accused of sending an anonymous card to work colleague Amanda Reynolds, 49, signed "Dad's killer", which caused a great deal of distress.

She was charged with sending a malicious communication and appeared at Canterbury Magistrates' Court on June 28. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, and ordered to pay £200 compensation and £85 costs.

Ms Reynold's father, Albert Bishop, was attacked in his home in Ashford on March 18 2007. He suffered extensive, life-threatening injuries to his head and arms, as well as having approximately £700 cash stolen from him.

He was treated at several hospitals in both Kent and Essex, and subsequently discharged, with further medical treatment ongoing.

However, on June 30 2007, Mr Bishop was at home when he fell, fracturing his femur.

He was admitted to hospital again and underwent surgery, but died of his injuries at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford on July 13. His death was deemed to have been directly caused by the assault.

Since his death, Kent Police have continued to investigate, but no one has yet been charged in connection with his murder.

Detective Inspector Lee Whitehead, from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said: "The card sent to Amanda Reynolds caused significant alarm and distress to her and her family last Christmas.

"I'm pleased we were able to trace the sender and bring her to justice."