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Woman, 56, killed friend by pushing her down stairs after falling out over cancelled holiday to Morocco

A WOMAN killed her friend by pushing her down a flight of stairs after falling out over a cancelled holiday to Morocco, a court heard.

Rosalind Gray, 56, rowed with former pal Linda Rainey, 60, after their trip to Marrakesh was axed due to a flight mix-up.

Shop worker Gray allegedly owed £200 to grandmother Ms Rainey and their friendship turned sour.

The two women exchanged messages in which Ms Rainey asked for her money back and Gray called her a “nasty old troll”.

They allegedly argued again when they unexpectedly met up at the home of mutual friend Adrian Lawrence, 54, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said: “That argument ended when Gray pushed Linda Rainey in the chest as she stood right at the top of the stairs.”

He said she went flying backwards and landed at the bottom of the stairs of the flat with a fatal brain injury.

The mother-of-five died two days later on August 7 last year after failing to regain consciousness and having her life support turned off at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

Gray, of Great Yarmouth, and Lawrence set out to pretend her death was an accident and tried to silence a witness, Emma Walker, who had been in the flat at the time.

The pair had told Ms Walker to hide in another room when paramedics arrived to treat Ms Rainey as she “couldn’t be trusted to stay quiet”.

But Ms Walker spoke to police three days after her death on August 10 and revealed what happened.

Mr Jackson said Ms Rainey’s death would have been an “undetected perfect murder” if it had been put down to a tragic accident.

Gray was cleared of murder after she denied the charge but a jury took less than two hours to find her guilty of manslaughter at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday.

She and Lawrence were also convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between August 5 and August 12 last year after a two week trial.

Sentencing will take place in September and Judge Stephen Holt warned Gray she faced prison.

He said: “The jury has convicted you of a very serious offence.

“I have to consider whether you fall to be sentenced under the dangerousness provisions and are considered a real danger to the public.”

The jury were told of some of the 5,493 text messages exchanged between Gray and Ms Rainey from December 24, 2018, until July 31 last year.

One message allegedly sent by Gray described Ms Rainey as a “nasty old bag”.

Another sent by Gray at 10.11pm on July 30 called her former friend “vile” and a “nasty old troll” and urged her to “enjoy her lonely life”.

Ms Rainey replied that Gray owed her £200 and in the last message between them at 12.02am on July 31, she said “come on sweet, bring it on”.

The court heard from Lynette King who told how witness Ms Walker confided in her about being in the flat when she saw Gray push Ms Rainey.

She said Ms Walker was frightened of Gray but she urged her to tell the truth, saying she would contact the police herself if Ms Walker didn’t.

Ms King said in the end she phoned the station, with the agreement of Ms Walker, and told them what had happened.

The jury also heard how Gray had once carried out an arson attack and on another occasion had held a knife to the throat of Ms Walker’s boyfriend.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Brown of Norfolk Police said after the hearing: “Rosalind Gray and Adrian Lawrence immediately knew the seriousness of Rosalind’s actions and went to great lengths to cover it up, even after Linda died.

“I would like to thank the witness for their bravery and assistance throughout our investigation and during the trial.

“Without their honest and consistent account of the circumstances leading up to, and during the days after the incident, we may not have ever known the truth behind Linda’s untimely and tragic death.”

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