Man who beat own mum to death branded her 'Brexit voting halfwit', court told

A psychologist who killed his mother in a hammer attack described her as a “Brexit-voting halfwit”, a court has heard.

Robert Child, 37, admits the murder of his mother Janice, who was found locked in the utility room of her home in Woolton, Liverpool, on March 6, but denies he killed her for financial gain.

A trial of issue at Liverpool Crown Court heard Child transferred £25,000 to his bank account from hers moments after leaving her home on March 5, and when police went to inform him of her death the following morning he was out buying a £14,000 Jaguar car.

Giving evidence via videolink on Tuesday, Child’s friend Philip Walker, who worked with him at the University of Liverpool, said he had the impression Child did not get on with his mother.

He said in February Child forwarded him a message sent by Mrs Child in which she suggested he stockpile food because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The court heard Child then referred to his mother as “the Brexit-voting halfwit”.

Mr Walker, who shared an interest in crypto currency with the defendant, said: “He was against Brexit.”

Mrs Child was found with 31 wounds, believed to have been caused by a hammer and another weapon, after neighbours on Kings Drive contacted police when they were alerted by her dachshund Alfie barking in the early hours of the morning.

The court has heard Child claimed to be a doctor, despite not having completed a PhD, and told friends he worked as an analyst for Manchester United.

Pc Nicola Ireland told the court Child asked “is this a dream” when he was arrested on suspicion of his mother’s murder at the home he shared with his partner Kelly Williams in Thingwall, Wirral, on March 6.

She said: “He immediately began to shake, displaying signs of being extremely anxious.”

She said on their way to the police station, Child said: “I only wanted to show her my new car.”

She added: “I took her to mean Janice, he didn’t specifically say her name.”

He told her his mother had “cut him out of her life” for a period of time because she did not approve of his previous partner due to the “colour of her skin” – but they had since reconciled, the court heard.

In evidence from financial investigator Adrian McGrath, the court heard Child was more than £32,000 in debt at the time of his mother’s death.

He also had two county court judgments against him for £16,000, Mr McGrath said.

He said Child did have a joint savings account with his mother which had more than £14,000 in, enough to cover the cost of the Jaguar, and would have been able to access it without his mother’s signature.

But, the court heard, a passbook was needed to credit or debit the account and only one was issued.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday.

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