loner knifed mum in her own bed

John Thorpe admitted the manslaughter of his mother Mary Thorpe: Reedings Road, Barrowby
John Thorpe admitted the manslaughter of his mother Mary Thorpe: Reedings Road, Barrowby

A SON who brutally killed his own mother as she lay in bed admitted manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court this week.

John Thorpe, 53, lived in Reedings Road, Barrowby with his 80-year-old mother Mary Thorpe prior to stabbing her to death as she lay in her own bed.

The victim’s body was discovered by police in the early hours of Saturday, April 2 - Mother’s Day weekend - and John Thorpe was arrested later that day in Swansea after fleeing to Wales.

Thorpe’s trial for murder was due to begin on Monday morning but was abandoned when the defendant dramatically changed his plea at the last possible moment.

Thorpe still denied murder but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

Entering his plea, an emotionless Thorpe told the court: “I am not guilty of murder. But I am guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.”

His plea to the lesser charge was accepted by the court and the case was adjourned until December 21 for sentencing.

Following the killing, neighbours in Barrowby described him as a quiet man who never acknowledged other people. He was regularly seen walking his dog around the village while sporting a heavy beard and a long, black coat.

Thorpe is believed to have suffered a breakdown some 20 years ago following an excellent academic career. He holds a masters degree in physics and was studying for a doctorate in astrophysics when he is said to have suffered the breakdown.

Thorpe was due to face a trial expected to last eight days when he changed his plea on Monday morning. The original charge of murder gave the date of the attack as between March 30 and April 2. Police suspect Mary Thorpe may have been killed some time before her body was discovered.

Following her death, friends described Mary as a ‘lovely, sweet, kind, generous woman’.