Andrew Cane jailed for murdering mother

Andrew Cane
Image caption Andrew Cane had an argument with his mother over his use of cocaine

A man who strangled his mother with his belt in a drug-fuelled attack has been found guilty of murder.

Andrew Cane, 31, was drunk and high on cocaine when he attacked Linda Sheard in 2012, Exeter Crown Court heard.

The attack on the 63-year-old followed an argument over his cocaine use at the house they shared in Exmouth, Devon.

Cane, of Exmouth, had admitted manslaughter but denied murder. He was jailed for life and told he would serve at least 15 years.

'Unprovoked assault'

The court heard his mother had found a wrap of cocaine in her son's bedroom at the house in Port Mer Close, Exmouth in July 2012.

She 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, the jury was told.

Mr Cane told police she pulled him back and slapped him as he tried to get away, knocking her to the floor of her bedroom.

Image caption Linda Sheard threatened to throw Cane out of their house

Cane told police he could not remember how the canvas belt got around her neck and that he had been "trying to calm the situation".

He told officers he "panicked" and let go after she started coughing.

He said: "I would never have left her if I knew what was going to happen. Never in my life would I have left her."

In a later police interview, he said he took his mother's purse and used her cash point card to buy cocaine, the court heard.

His defence team said the attack was not pre-meditated and was a result of his drug use.

Following the sentencing, Det Insp Gregg Dawe, of Devon and Cornwall Police said officers were "very satisfied" with the verdict and the sentence in "what was a unprovoked violent assault".

He said: "Andrew Cane's actions have left a family grieving for the loss of a loving mother, daughter, auntie and grandmother; and three children without a father for at least 15 years."

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