Andrew Cane 'strangled mother with belt'

A woman was strangled by her son when she threatened to throw him out of their house, a jury has been told.

Andrew Cane, 31, strangled 63-year-old Linda Sheard to death with a canvas belt during an argument about his use of cocaine, prosecutors said.

The roofer then took and used his mother's bank card to buy drugs, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Mr Cane, of Port Mer Close, Exmouth, has admitted manslaughter but denies her murder last July.

'Drug-fuelled rage'

After Mr Cane killed her, he stole her wallet, texted a dealer and took a taxi to a cash machine where he took out £200 which he spent on an all night cocaine spree, the jury was told.

The court heard his mother had already lent him £60,000 to pay off debts and warned him she would throw him out of the house they shared if he ever took drugs in it.

Prosecutors said Mr Cane started using cocaine in the days before the killing, and his mother found out about it on her return from a holiday two days before she died.

Mr Cane sent a text to his brother telling him the police were not clever enough to catch up with him just minutes before he was arrested.

When taken into custody, he told officers: "When I get back to Exmouth I don't want to see my family. It was just a drug-fuelled rage."

The jury was told Mr Cane admitted manslaughter but insisted he did not intend to kill or seriously injure his mother.

He said he did not tighten a belt around her neck and believed he heard her coughing as he left the house on 11 July last year.

A post-mortem examination found injuries all over her body and concluded she died of strangulation from behind with a ligature.

A canvas belt was found around her neck, the court was told.

Prosecuting, Simon Laws QC said: "There can be only one way of describing what he did that night. It was murder.

"When you look at what he did, it is impossible to conceive he did not intend to kill or cause really serious harm."

The trial continues.

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