Teenager 'cut through his mother's spinal cord so she could not move and stabbed her 94 times in brutal attack'Youth allegedly turned on Leah Whittle, stabbing her with at least one knifeThe 42-year-old had 'little chance' to defend herself, the court heard
Teenager, who admits having 'an interest in knives', fled the flat in DorsetDivorced mother, 42, found slumped against hallway wall of her home
08:04 GMT, 29 November 2012
Violent death: Leah Whittle, 42, was stabbed to death at her house. Her son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is appearing at court, charged with her murder
A 16-year-old boy murdered his mother by stabbing her 94 times, immobilising her early on in the attack by severing her spinal cord, a court heard today.
The teenager, who admits having 'an
interest in knives', then claimed Leah Whittle had been killed at their home in Weymouth, Dorset, by a gang of 'mystery men from Yorkshire'.
He inflicted knife wounds across her head, back and front in the two bedroom flat, stabbing her with at
least one knife in an attack so sudden she had 'little chance' to defend
herself, jurors were told.
The teenager then fled the flat in the early hours, climbing out of
his first floor bedroom window and down a drainpipe.
went to visit friends, feeding them an elaborate cover story that he
had seen a gang of 'mystery men' from the north of England kill his mother,
Winchester Crown Court heard.
Divorced mother-of-three Ms Whittle, 42, was found slumped against the hallway wall.
Richard Smith said the teenager claimed he had watched through a
bathroom doorway as other people stabbed his mother to death.
Smith said: 'He described to friends how he had gone into the bathroom
and from there was alerted by a noise to something happening outside.
'The implication is that men had entered the flat and were trying to kill his own mother about a foot away from him.
'He said he watched through the ajar
door of the bathroom as “they” were stabbing his mother. And at some
stage “they” tried to knife him.'
youngster told friends of his 'escape' when he met up with them shortly
before 3am, Mr Smith said. They did not call the police or an
In an earlier
phone call, at around 10pm that evening, the boy had told a female
friend in that group his mother would be executed and had 'days to
live', Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said: 'His brother had got himself into some sort of trouble with a drug debt or the like.
boy announced that his mum had only got a couple of days to live. The
friend was left with the impression that his mum's life was at immediate
'Interest in knives': Winchester Crown Court heard the teenager turned on his mother, stabbing her in the head, back and front and then blaming mystery men from Yorkshire
'Mystery people somehow concerned with his brother up in Doncaster were on their way or in someway likely to kill Ms Whittle.'
Tragically, the friend – who cannot be
named for legal reasons – could hear Ms Whittle in the background,
bringing her son a drink.
Smith added: 'Was he already in some sort of murderous mindset by this
point Had he intended to take his own mother's life and this gave him
the welcome opportunity of a cover story
'Exactly why it was that the defendant
decided upon such a dreadful and genuinely tragic course of events
perhaps will never be known.'
Prosecutor Richard Smith
'Or having spoken with a teenage bravado, did something later on trigger his temper'
Either way, Ms Whittle was 'immobilised' early on in an horrific killing at his hands, Mr Smith said. A blade wielded by her son severed her spinal cord, a post mortem of her bloodstained body revealed.
There were no injuries on her arms or hands, suggesting she was rendered unconscious early in the attack.
Today, the boy, now 17, wore a silver tracksuit as he listened to his mother's last moments being relived in court.
Mr Smith added: 'Exactly why it was that the defendant decided upon such a dreadful and genuinely tragic course of events perhaps will never be known.
'It may well be that during the course of that night he had become angry at something she had said or done. He says for himself that he has a temper and perhaps that and his interest in knives came together and he took his mother's life.'
Mr Smith told the jury that the youngster should have called 999 or screamed for help, or called an ambulance, but he did nothing but leave the flat.
He eventually went to a friend's house with his mother's blood on his face and on his socks, the court heard.
In the boy's version of events, he must have stepped over his mother's motionless body to lock the door after her killers left.
Then he took money from her handbag, changed his trousers and left through the window. He told his three friends – all girls – that cuts on his hands were from scaling down the drainpipe.
But forensics experts found traces of his blood inside the flat. The murder weapons have never been recovered. The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies one charge of murder between July 19 and 21.
The trial continues.