'Vicious and savage' murderer sentenced for killing neighbour over garden fence argument

Debby Foxwell

Debby Foxwell was sentenced to 21 years in prison today - Credit: Herts police

A Welwyn Garden City woman has been given a life sentence with a minimum of 21 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering her 64-year-old neighbour, Louise Lotz.

Louise, a former councillor, sustained fatal head injuries outside her home in Fordwich Road, Welwyn Garden City, on August 24 2019.

Cllr Lousie Lotz

Louise Lotz was killed by her neighbour in August 2019 - Credit: Archant

On Thursday February 20 2020, a jury at St Albans Crown Court found 41-year-old Debby Foxwell, also of Fordwich Road, guilty of her murder at the tragic climax of a bitter neighbourhood feud.

The jury heard how over the course of many years, the two women had grown to develop a deep dislike and distrust of one another.

On the day of the murder, the women had been in an argument about a garden fence. The court heard that later that evening, Foxwell used a mobile phone to record Louise in her garden. When Louise realised, she grabbed the phone.

Foxwell then forced access to her neighbour’s home, armed with a garden spade, and chased Louise outside.

At this point, witnesses who had heard a commotion, saw Foxwell use the spade to repeatedly strike Louise on the head.

Police and the ambulance service were called but sadly, Louise was pronounced dead at the scene.

Passing the sentence to Foxwell today, the judge described the murder as ‘vicious and savage, carried out in wild anger’.

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Detective inspector Iain MacPherson, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “I hope that Debby Foxwell will now reflect on the horrific crime she committed and the pain she has put Louise’s loved ones through.”

“My thoughts are with Louise’s family and friends at what continues to be a difficult time. While nothing will make up for their loss, I hope that this sentence helps to give them some closure.”

In a statement, Louise’s family said: “Louise was a loving mother, sister and grandmother. Her death has come as a shock to us all, we will miss her dearly.

“We are still trying to come to terms with this tragic loss and the circumstances surrounding it, we ask that our privacy is respected at this time.”