Riddings man faces life sentence

nrhn Cornelius Brown.
nrhn Cornelius Brown.
Share this article

A life sentence hangs over a Riddings man after he pleaded guilty to murdering his former partner at her home in Somercotes

Cornelius Brown, just 23, stabbed Jade Riley Ward to death on September 22 last year.

He had previously denied the charge at a hearing in January.

But on Friday, November 15, Brown, dressed in a dark pin-stripe suit and a black tie, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court to change his plea to guilty.

Addressing the defendant directly Judge John Teare said: “There can of course be only one sentence given to you.

“I will need to determine the minimum and I will need all the information from the prosecution and the defence’s point of view to do so.”

Brown will now be sentenced on December 20 at Nottingham Crown Court.

He showed no emotion as the murder charge was read to him on Friday, with around ten of his family members and friends in the public gallery.

More than 20 of Jade Riley Ward’s family and friends sat apart on opposite sides of the small crown court room.

On behalf of Brown Patrick Thompson told the court he was sorry for the delay that had been caused to proceedings while psychiatric reports were made on Brown’s mental state at the time of the murder.

A pre-sentence report will now be prepared in time for December 20.

Judge John Teare said the following hearing would need to be in a ‘larger’ court roo, due to the number of people that attended.

For the Crown Prosecution Service Richard Thatcher asked the judge to also consider a set of recently prepared files on the impact of the murder on Jade Riley ward’s family , when considering his sentence.

Ms Riley ward was found with multiple stab wounds at her home on Burke Drive, Somercotes, on September 22, 2012.

The tragic 30-year-old was described by her family at the time as ‘exceptionally hard working’.

In a statement released after her death the family wrote: “To lose her in such a tragic and sudden manner is hard to bear. She will be greatly missed by her close family and her many friends.”

Ms Riley Ward worked at Four04 Packaging, in Hall Farm Way, Smalley, and was due to start an accountancy course a few weeks after the date she was killed.

A two-hour candlelit vigil was held outside her house by mourners in September 2012, who laid flowers, lit candles and sent Chinese lanterns into the evening sky in her memory.

Of the tributes left one read: “No words can fill the emptiness those close to you feel inside.

“Such a sad time for all who had the pleasure of knowing you.

“My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

“RIP Jade. Sarah.”

Another tribute, signed from Micky and Danielle, read: “We love you and we are going to miss you so much. You mean the world to us. Goodbye sis, rest in peace.”

In a statement after her funeral, her family said: “Jade was a lovely, fun loving girl.