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Published: 16:31, 12 November 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
Fantasist Gary Sturt strangled his mother... believing he was an SAS operative with a licence to kill.
The 32-year-old thought his devoted and loving mother Annette worked for the IRA – and had cheated him out of millions.
But a judge heard Sturt, of Clarenden Street, Dover was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia when he killed her in May this year.
Members of her family – including husband Ian – wept in the public gallery as she was described as “a very intelligent, hard working and decent human being who was much loved by her family.”
Heavy cannabis user Sturt was taken to Canterbury Police Station where he was told his mother had been found dead.
He told stunned officers: “The IRA bitch is dead!”
Now Sturt – who appeared in the dock ringed by nursing and security staff – pleaded not guilty to murdering his 49-year-old mother – but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Prosecutor Paul Taylor told the tragic story of how a delusional son murdered his mother at her home in Prescott Close, Guston.
His partner – and mother of four – Joanne Smith had spoken to Annette earlier that day to ask if she would stand guarantor for a home she wanted to rent.
Mr Taylor said that at some time in the afternoon Gary - who was heavily in debt - went to his mother's house although “there is no evidence one way or the other as to his purpose.”
Between 7.30 and 8.30 that evening neighbours heard “banging and thudding” – and at 8.15 husband Ian had telephoned his wife from work – but got no reply.
He added: “Eventually Ian called again and spoke to Gary who told him:’She’s alright but we had an argument and I hit her. Now she’s at Jo’s mum’s. Mum has told me to stay here with you tonight,' .”
But the court heard that police later found evidence that Gary was planning to kill his father as well – placing a kitchen knife near the front door.
Mr Taylor said the body of Annette – which had been struck with a blunt instrument before being strangled – was found in a shed.
The prosecutor said that Sturt’s life had been dominated by growing delusions “delusions which which would not have been helped by his heavy cannabis use- using 10 joints a day”.
He added: “He lived a fantasy life. Long before that night he was telling friends that his parents had farmed him out to paedophiles who repeatedly raped him.
“This did not happen and he now realises that it didn’t happen."
When police arrived and arrested Sturt who told them: “You cannot arrest me for what I have done. I have a licence to do this...a licence to kill”.
Dorian Lovell-Pank QC, defending, said: “This is a shocking tragic case. It is unusual for a son to kill his mother and she was a devoted mother. But he was in the grip of a complex and violent delusions.”
He will be sentenced tomorrow morning.
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