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Shoreham Man Sentenced After Wife’s Fatal Stabbing

James Gumbrell Receives Hospital Order Under Mental Health Act

In a tragic turn of events, retired bricklayer James Gumbrell, also known as Jim, has been sentenced for killing his wife, 59-year-old Deborah, known as Debs, following a comprehensive murder investigation in Shoreham.

The incident took place on October 24, 2022, at their home in Northbourne Close. On that day, Gumbrell called the police, admitting that he had stabbed his wife. Emergency services promptly arrived at the scene, where they found both Gumbrell and Debs. Despite the valiant efforts of police officers and paramedics, Debs was pronounced dead at the scene.

James Gumbrell was charged with murder on October 26, 2022, and was subsequently remanded into custody after appearing before Crawley Magistrates. The case progressed to Chichester Crown Court on March 17, 2023, where Gumbrell pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. The Crown Prosecution Service accepted this plea, while he was found not guilty of murder.

On May 24, 2024, Gumbrell appeared before Lewes Crown Court for sentencing. The court imposed a Hospital Order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act, mandating that Gumbrell undergo treatment.

Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey, of the Major Crime Team, said: “This is a tragic case in which a much-loved mother, grandmother and sister lost her life in horrific circumstances. 

“We would like to express our condolences to the family of Deborah and our thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.” 

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