Son beats own mum to death then treats himself to luxury Jaguar

A stone-cold killer brutally murdered his own mother before heading out and buying a Jaguar car worth £15,000.

Robert Child, 37, bludgeoned his mum to death with a hammer before hiding her in a cupboard under the stairs and calmly catching a bus.

The fantasist had previously spouted lies about being a football scout for Manchester United and also said he had a doctorate degree.

But when police looked into the claim, the football club said they had "no knowledge whatsoever" of Child being in their employment.

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His 64-year-old mother, Janice Child, was discovered in her Kings Drive, Woolton home in the early hours of March 6, after neighbours heard her Dachshund Archie barking and called police.

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

Police arrested Child later that same day when he returned to his home in Kings Drive, 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.

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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.

He worked at Liverpool University in the field of sports psychology but lied about obtaining a Ph.D from the University of Chicago, he had only participated in a distance learning course with the university that he failed to complete.

The prosecution revealed another often repeated lie Child told to colleagues and acquaintances was that he had obtained employment with Manchester United Football Club as a talent scout.

On the morning of March 6, shortly before 1.00am, police attended Mrs Child’s property after a neighbour had been alerted by the distressed sounding barks of her pet dachshund Alfie.

Officers forced the front door of the property to find Mrs Child's dog, Alfie, still wearing the little coat that he would typically wear during the walks his owner took him every morning and afternoon.

They searched the property and found entered a door under the stairs leading to a utility room and found the body of Mrs Child.

She was lying on her front, wearing an outdoor fleece jacket, and had sustained a large wound to her scalp, with blood covering the floor around her head.

The walls, ceiling, skirting boards and worktops had all been spattered with blood.

The prosecution said the forensic examination revealed that Mrs Child was struck when she was upright and also when she was low down or lying on the floor.

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The pathologist who carried out the post-mortem concluded that she suffered a total of 31 wounds, probably involving more than one weapon.

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.

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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.

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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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