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Crime: 'Human tragedy rather than wickedness' says Judge as Dover man detained indefinitely for killing his mother

Contributed by editor on Nov 14, 2012 - 05:55 PM


A 32 year old Dover man has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act after the body of his mother was found in her garden shed.

The sentence was handed down at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday.

Described as a serious risk to the public, Gary Ian Sturt of Clarendon Street was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

On Sunday 20 May 2012 at about 10.20pm police were contacted by someone known to Sturt who had received information that Sturt had gone to his mother’s address in Guston, Dover, and killed her.

Police found 49 year old Annette Sturt’s home in Prescott Close insecure. The front door was unlocked and there was blood on the floors and walls. Gary Sturt returned to the house whilst police were searching it and using his keys, officers unlocked the garden shed and found his mother’s body covered by a duvet. A post mortem revealed that she had been bludgeoned with a blunt instrument and strangled.

Detective Inspector Chris Carter from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Any premature death is tragic but this crime is particularly so given the relationship between the victim and offender.

“Annette’s family, who attended court throughout, have been left without a wife, sister, daughter, aunt and niece. It is an extremely sad case. It is only right that Sturt is now treated at a secure unit at Broadmoor Hospital indefinitely. He can only be released by order of the Home Secretary.”

When sentencing Sturt, Judge Adele Williams said: “This is a case of human tragedy rather than wickedness. You took the life of your mother, lied to your father and grand father and also told your partner job done how do you get blood out of a carpet?”

Two eminent psychiatrists concluded that Sturt suffered from a complex set of delusions and although a heavy and regular user of cannabis, this was not solely to blame for his mental illness.

© Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2012

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