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Son stabbed elderly mother with ornamental sword before beheading her, court hears

A man stabbed his 86-year-old mother with an ornamental sword then decapitated her and put her head in the freezer, a court has heard.

Philip Tarver, 47, allegedly attacked Angela Tarver and threatened to kill his 83-year-old father Colin at the family home in Woking, Surrey, on December 19 last year.

Opening his murder trial at the Old Bailey, Alexandra Healy QC said: “It is the prosecution case that at around midday that day, in the kitchen of the address, the defendant stabbed his mother in the chest with an ornamental sword, killing her.

“It appears that, whilst the police were making their way to the address, the defendant decapitated his mother, placing her head into the freezer in the kitchen.

“And he amputated her left ring finger, which he placed into a kettle.”

When armed police arrived, Tarver – wearing a woman’s floral nightie – came to the front door waving a Union flag and holding a knife, saying: “I surrender, I surrender,” jurors heard.

During a mental health assessment, Tarver explained how he killed his mother, jurors were told.

He was taken to a mental health hospital where he remained until March when he was deemed fit to be interviewed by police.

Tarver denies murdering his mother and making a threat to kill his father.

Ms Healy said the defendant was understood to deny killing his mother.

If jurors reject his assertion, the issue in the case was whether he suffered a psychotic episode triggered by drugs.

Ms Healy added: “If, however, the defence satisfy you, on the balance of probabilities, that it was not drug-induced but was an independent psychotic disorder, which coincidentally developed against a background of cocaine and cannabis use, then that… could amount to a defence that reduces the offence of murder to one of manslaughter.”

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