Man Sentenced To Life For Murdering Sheffield Mum

A man has been given life for murdering a Sheffield mum-of-three.

45-year-old Mark Hatter, of Hammerton Road in Hillsborough has been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 25 years, for the murder of Sheffield mum-of-three Dawn Backhouse in June this year.

The jury reached a unanimous verdict at Sheffield Crown Court following a two-week trial. 

South Yorkshire Police Detective Inspector Phil Etheridge, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: "Julie Dawn Backhouse, aged 31, died at the brutal hands of Mark Hatter, a man with whom she had previously had a relationship, on 23 June, 2011.

"The prosecution team demonstrated that Hatter was having great difficulties dealing with the fact that Dawn was ending their relationship and returning, with her children, to her native Kent. The relationship began to crumble, culminating in a serious assault in the early hours of 23 June when Dawn was fatally stabbed by Hatter in her own home."

"Dawn's family will now try to move on with their lives and come to terms with never seeing her again. Meanwhile, Mark Hatter will face a long imprisonment and hopefully reflect on the decisions he made on that fateful night that led to the untimely death of a young woman and mother to three children."

Speaking on behalf of Dawn’s family, her father, Barry Taylor, commented: "Dawn was a loving, kind and beautiful mother, daughter and sister.

"Today three children grow up with only memories and photos; the opportunity of making more suddenly and cruelly cut short.

"We have been sitting in court over the last two weeks as a family hoping to hear why our daughter had her life ended so abruptly.

"The defendant has failed to ease our misery by failing to plead guilty and thereby continuing to lie.

"We wish to pay particular thanks to the witnesses who have come forward and given evidence in this trial.

"We are pleased with the guilty verdict achieved today and although this chapter has closed and we now have justice for Dawn, this will never bring back the smiley and bubbly person we all came to know, love and who will forever be missed."