A MAN has admitted killing Burnley grandmother Leanne Unsworth in what prosecutors described as an attack of an “explosive and brutal nature”.

Shaun Sanders appeared handcuffed in the dock at Preston Crown Court yesterday morning where he spoke only to enter his guilty plea to the manslaughter of Ms Unsworth by reason of diminished responsibility.

The 40-year-old, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody to be sentenced at the crown court on November 29.

Sanders was charged with the murder of 40-year-old Ms Unsworth after she was found dead in a house in Marlborough Street at 7.15pm on January 14.

A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of Ms Unsworth’s death to be head injuries.

Outlining the reasons why the crown prosecution service had accepted a plea of manslaughter as an alternative to murder, Jason Pitter QC said: “These are always difficult considerations. In order to prove the allegation of murder in this case the jury would have to consider the issue of diminished responsibility, which is a matter the defence would have to raise and establish. The prosecution has to go with the evidence that is available.

“There are two psychiatrists involved in this case - Dr Appleyard and Dr Banks - both who reach an agreement diminished responsibility is an available defence in this case.”

Mr Pitter said when coming to that conclusion, the psychiatrists had found that Sanders was suffering a paranoid schizophrenia episode at the time of the attack and that ‘substantially impaired his ability to form good judgement and exercise self-control’.

Mr Pitter said before accepting the manslaughter plea, the prosecution also considered the fact there are a number of witnesses who described Sanders as being ‘psychotic’ at the time of the attack, the defendant had being trying to access assistance from the mental health services not long before the attack, his medical history and his past record for violent offending.

Mr Pitter added: “Ms Unsworth’s family are fully aware of the decision the prosecution are considering to make and also the rationale for it, which is just as important.”

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Judge Robert Altham adjourned the case for the preparation of further psychiatric reports.

Following her death, Ms Unsworth’s family released a statement in which they said: “Leanne was a well-loved daughter, mum, niece and grandma who will be sadly missed.”