Police 'pleased' after Emma McArthur murderer pleads guilty
“I AM pleased that her family do not have to go through the ordeal of a court process.”
Those were the words of a senior police officer after a man charged with the murder of Emma McArthur pleaded guilty.
Christopher Joseph Minards, 35, of no fixed abode, stabbed mother-of-two Ms McArthur, whom he knew, on the night of April 1 this year at the junction of Crookham Hill and Burys Bank Road.
She was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
A murder investigation was launched and Minards was charged on 4 April.
On Thursday, Minards pleaded guilty to one count of murder and one count of possession of a knife, blade or sharp pointed article in a public place.
The guilty plea means Ms McArthur’s family won’t have to sit through a trial.
Minards will be sentenced in September.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Sally Spencer, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, said: “This was a tragic case in which a man has stabbed and killed a woman whom he knew.
“It was a violent attack, which resulted in Emma dying despite efforts to save her by the emergency services.
“Our investigation identified Minards as the person responsible for Emma’s death, and I am pleased that he has pleaded guilty at this stage and that her family do not have to go through the ordeal of a court process.
“I also hope that this helps them begin the process of moving on with their lives.”
Following her murder, Ms McArthur's family released a statement mourning the loss of "darling Emma."
It added: “Spiritual, spontaneous and a free spirit – with a love of mother nature especially animals and the outdoors. You had a thirst for learning, new skills and could turn your hand to most things.
“Practical – you have never shied away from life’s challenges, caring, thoughtful and always saw the best in everyone. A mother who always put her children before herself and whose love touched all those who were blessed with being able to call her a friend.
“Definitely unique and a one off. How empty our lives will be without you.
“Spread your wings and follow your dreams.
“Loving mother, daughter and friend.”