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A HUSBAND has admitted killing his wife and an elderly neighbour after they were found lying in the street.
The pair were discovered just three days before Christmas, with Daniel Appleton today admitting killing them.
Amy Appleton, 32, and Sandy Seagrave, 76 – who lived near the married couple – were found dead on December 22.
It is thought Mrs Seagrave tried to intervene as she walked past the couple and was fatally injured.
Both women were pronounced dead at the scene after suffering head injuries near their homes in Crawley, West Sussex.
Appleton denied murder when he appeared in Lewes Crown Court this morning dressed in a short sleeved black polo shirt.
The court was told he contests his mental state at the time of the deaths, but Lewis Power QC, defending, said the allegations Appleton killed both women was not in dispute.
One woman was found lying on a stretch of grass outside the house while another was found lying in the street.
Neighbours say both women were attacked outside the house in broad daylight and were brutally “bludgeoned” to death.
A 37-year-old man was discovered inside a house with serious injuries and was arrested on suspicion of murder.
He was rushed to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton suffering from serious injuries.
After her death family members described Mrs Appleton as “a rock for her family, a rock for her friends”, who always thought of others before herself.
Mrs Appleton, a teacher at nearby Copthorne Church of England junior school, was also described by her family as a “beautiful, caring daughter, sister and friend”.
A tribute added: “Amy had an amazing personality. She was such a strong, positive person who always smiled. She was a rock for her family, a rock for her friends and most of all a rock for herself. Amy always thought of others before herself.”
It added: “Amy led the life she was destined to fill, following her passions. Her school will be missing an incredible, dedicated teacher, she gave 110 per cent to her pupils. Her light will always shine in our lives but a hole has been left with broken hearts.
“The whole family would like to send heartfelt thanks for all kind messages and thoughtful tributes. Keep shining our girl, you will forever be in our hearts.”
Mrs Seagrave’s family described her as “one of a kind, an eccentric character who was stubbornly independent, feisty, brave and not afraid of anything”.
“She was devoted to children and especially animals, including a wild fox who we are continuing to feed now that she has gone.”
Appleton will go on trial charged with the murders on July 6.
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