Killer son called mum 'Brexit-voting halfwit'

Robert Child

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Merseyside Police

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Robert Child denies killing his mother for financial gain

A psychologist who killed his mother in a hammer attack called her 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 6 March.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he transferred £25,000 into his bank account the previous day and was £32,000 in debt at the time.

Child denies killing her for financial gain.

Philip Walker, who worked with Child at the University of Liverpool, told the court he forwarded him a message in February sent by Mrs Child in which she suggested her son stockpile food because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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


Mrs Child was found with 31 wounds, believed to have been caused by a hammer and another weapon, after neighbours contacted police when they were alerted by her dog barking.

When police went to inform Child of her death he was out buying a £14,000 Jaguar car, the court heard.

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

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, jurors 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 and had two county court judgments against him for £16,000.

He said Child had a joint savings account with his mother which had more than £14,000 in, enough to cover the cost of the Jaguar, and he 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 continues.

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