Daughter-in-law murdered Newark woman to try and get inheritance money

Photo of Elizabeth Vamplew, known as Anne, smiling in glasses and light blue dress
Elizabeth Vamplew, known as Anne, 'loved holidays and adored cruises', her family said -Credit:Nottinghamshire Police

A woman has been found guilty of murdering her mother-in-law in Newark. Elizabeth Vamplew, known as Anne, died from burns and smoke inhalation after a fire at her bungalow at Eton Court on 15 December 2021.

Her daughter-in-law, Karen Vamplew, had pleaded not guilty to murder. But a jury found that she had deliberately set Anne's bed on fire in a ploy to collect inheritance money to cover her debts.

Anne's family said: "Anne was a devoted mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, and friend to many. She married her husband Jess in 1968 and embarked on their journey together in Collingham. Their family grew with the arrival of Mark, and later, they moved to Newark, where Rachel completed their loving family circle.

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"Together, they created cherished memories travelling in their caravan, often accompanied by Anne's sister Jean and their families. Anne and Jess found solace and joy in tending to their beloved garden, earning recognition with an award for Best Kept Garden. Christmas held a special place in Anne's heart, as it meant being surrounded by her beloved family, the true source of her happiness."

"Anne was happiest when time was spent with her three grandaughters - Leah, Jessie and Isla, all of whom she was immensely proud of. She loved her holidays and adored cruising. She would cruise at least twice a year with family and friends. She made many friends on these holidays as she loved to chat and get to know people. She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends."

Leicester Crown Court heard how Karen Vamplew told Anne's niece Amanda Ennells that she had tried to save Anne by crawling into the burning room, but was told to get out by a 999 operator she was on the phone to. But Vamplew's pyjamas were clean when Amanda later saw her, which raised suspicions.

Vamplew also told friend Katie Joynes that she had tried to force the door at Anne's bungalow to get in, and that the blaze had been started by Anne smoking in bed. But this raised suspicions because Ms Joynes said Anne only smoked in the kitchen.

A third witness, family friend Marion Gasson, also heard Vamplew's story, in which she said she had lifted the letterbox flap and heard Anne screaming. But mother of four Vamplew, 44, who was said to have significant debts, was convicted by the jury after a four-week trial. She will be sentenced on Monday.