Woman found guilty of murder after Christmas Day house fire

A woman has been found guilty of murdering her partner in a Christmas Day house fire.

Susan Buckley
Susan Buckley

The jury took just over two hours to reach a verdict this afternoon.

Susan Buckley ignited items piled on an armchair at the Walsall home of 58-year-old Geoffrey Carter, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Fire crews were called to his flat in South Street Gardens, Palfrey, at around 5.30pm on December 25 last year by a neighbour and carried Mr Carter out of the smoke-filled flat, the court heard.

House fire
Police at the scene after the deadly blaze

He was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital but died later that day.

The court was told the 57-year-old, who had been in an on-off relationship with Mr Carter for around 20 years, had claimed he spoke about setting his flat on fire. But there were indications it was not an accident and Mr Carter had knife cuts to his arms.

Buckley was later arrested and initially told police she had no knowledge of how the blaze started, the court was told.