20th May, 2018

Coventry man accused of stabbing his pensioner mother to death

A Coventry man accused of stabbing his pensioner mother to death has been remanded in custody until his trial, which is expected to begin in June next year.

Thomas Westwood appeared at Warwick Crown Court for a preliminary hearing after being charged with the murder of his 68-year-old mother Susan earlier this month.

Mrs Westwood was found at an address in Cavendish Road, Tile Hill, Coventry, at 8.45pm on Friday December 1, suffering from stab wounds.

Paramedics fought to save her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, and Westwood (46) of Rosemary Crescent, Tile Hill, was arrested and charged with her murder.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said that the custody time limit, the period a defendant can normally be held in custody before standing trial, expires June 5 in Westwood’s case.

And Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said: “Enquiries have been made, and it could be tried on the 4th of June. So I believe we should seize that date.”

But he observed: “There may be issues as to his state of mind at the time of the incident and thereafter, which may need to be addressed by psychiatrists.”

Judge Lockhart ordered the prosecution case to be served on Westwood’s solicitors prior to a plea and trial preparation hearing at the court on January 26.

Rebecca Wade, defending, said there was no application for him to be granted bail.

Remanding Westwood in custody, the judge told him: “You are to come back to court on the 26th of January for another hearing, and at that stage you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty.  Do you understand?”

And, before being taken from the dock, Westwood, who had previously spoken only to confirm his date of birth and to give his nationality as British, replied: “I understand, Your Honour.”

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