Man ‘beat own mum to death with hammer before spending £15,000 on Jaguar’

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A man has been accused of brutally killing his own mum with a hammer before transferring money from her account and going to buy a Jaguar.

Robert Child, 37, went to purchase a £15,000 car after the fatal attack, according to prosecutors.

Child bludgeoned his mum Janice Child to death, before hiding her body in a cupboard under the stairs, a court has heard.

The body of his 64-year-old mum was found in her home in Woolton on the morning on March 6.

Authorities arrived after neighbours heard her Dachshund, Archie, barking and called police, reports Mirror Online.

According to a post-mortem examination, Mrs Childs had suffered more than 30 injuries at the hands of her son, including "severe blunt force" blows to the head, reports the Liverpool Echo.

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Police arrested Child later that same day when he returned to his home in Thingwall, Wirral, in the new blue car, which prosecutors say he bought after transferring £25,000 from his mum's bank account to his.

Child, who admitted manslaughter, denied murder and was set to go on trial at Liverpool Crown Court earlier this week.

But in extraordinary scenes, he suddenly decided to change his plea to guilty, while the last member of a jury was still being sworn in.

However, his barrister, John Jones, QC, said Child still denied the prosecution assertion that it was a murder for financial gain.

This will now be determined in a Newton Hearing – a form of mini-trial where a judge establishes any disputed facts of a case.

The outcome could potentially make a huge difference to Child's sentence, because the usual starting point for murder is life with a minimum of 15 years in prison, while the starting point in a murder for gain is 30 years behind bars.

Opening the hearing today, John Benson, QC, prosecuting, said that Child was living with his partner, Kelly Williams, at the time and they were due to be married on May 16, but he was in "financial straits" and on the morning of his mother's death had only £1.01 in his bank account.

Mrs Child sustained widespread blunt force injuries to her head and face consistent with blows from a hammer.

The right side of her upper face and back of her skull were "shattered" which the prosecution said demonstrated the use of considerable force.

There were also a number of penetrating injuries to her upper neck which, John Benson QC, said may have been caused by a pair of secateurs that were also found at the scene.

A number of injuries to Mrs Child's hands suggested she had tried to "defend or protect herself from violent blows" during the brutal attack.

At 11.00am on March 6, police arrived at the home the killer shared with partner Kelly Williams to break the news of his mother’s murder, only to be told that he was out buying a car.

Police believe Child returned home in a blue Jaguar VRM he had purchased for £14,480 from Woods of Wirral after using his mother’s account to transfer £25,000 to his building society account that same morning.

The prosecution claim Mr Child had stolen his mother’s phone after murdering her and used it to authorise the bank transfer of £25,000 to his own account.

Child, wearing a mustard coloured jumper, was expressionless throughout the hearing.

The case will resume on Tuesday, September 1.

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