A debt-ridden woman who murdered her disabled mother-in-law by setting fire to her bed has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 32 years.

Karen Vamplew, 44, was found guilty last week of murdering Elizabeth Vamplew in what prosecutors said was a bid to obtain inheritance money.

The 77-year-old victim died from burns and smoke inhalation after a fire at her bungalow in Eton Court, Newark, Nottinghamshire, in the early hours of December 15 2021.

Elizabeth Vamplew
Elizabeth Vamplew died after her daughter-in-law, Karen Vamplew, set fire to her bed (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

Nottinghamshire Police said Karen Vamplew was believed to have deliberately set fire to her victim’s bed as she was lying in it, almost certainly asleep.

In a statement issued after Vamplew, also known as Karen Degg, was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Monday, the force said financial investigations revealed that she had access to her victim’s account and had been spending thousands of pounds.

She was initially arrested on suspicion of murder two days after the fire, police said, but at that stage, there was insufficient evidence to bring any charges against her.

Vamplew, formerly of King Street, Newark, was re-arrested on September 27 last year after further specialist evidence was examined and secured.

Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Clare Dean, who oversaw the investigation, said: “This has been a lengthy and complex investigation and I would like to praise the dedicated work carried out by the investigation team and external specialists to bring Vamplew to justice.

“The simple fact is that she deliberately set a catastrophic and fatal fire knowing full well that Elizabeth was asleep inside the property.

“It was a brutal and premeditated act.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said Vamplew had significant debts and had been accessing money from Mrs Vamplew’s bank account, which had been all but depleted.

Andrew Baxter, from the CPS, said: “Elizabeth Vamplew’s tragic death was caused by the greed of her own daughter-in-law.

“Karen Vamplew had been helping herself to her money and, once this was spent, she killed her in the most cynical and calculating way possible to get her hands on the inheritance.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt sympathies to Mrs Vamplew’s extended family and loved ones who must feel the betrayal of one so close to them.”