Glasgow & West Scotland

Graeme Morris admits killing mother and battering dad

Ann Morris
Image caption Mrs Morris died from a pre-existing heart condition

A man has admitted killing his mother and battering his father in a violent attack at their home in South Ayrshire.

Graeme Morris, 38, assaulted Anne, 63, and Fred, 64, at their house in Troon on 5 October last year after mistakenly believing they harmed him as a child.

Mrs Morris died because of a serious heart condition she suffered from.

Her son admitted culpable homicide and assault to danger of life. He was returned to the State Hospital at Carstairs pending sentence in May.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how Morris's last partner, Emma Russell, had become "concerned" about his behaviour in the year prior to the killing.

Former Glasgow School of Art student Morris - described as "strange and eccentric" - was said to be "obsessed with the idea that he was a genius".

Verbal abuse

The court also heard that he made false allegations that he had previously been harmed by his parents.

Ms Russell found him a GP and it appears he was put on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist.

On 5 October last year, Morris travelled from his home in Brighton to Troon and turned up unexpectedly at his parents' bungalow.

Image caption Morris attacked his parents at their bungalow in Troon

The couple were sitting in the conservatory when Morris arrived and began verbally abusing them.

He then grabbed his mother by the hair on to a sofa before punching his father to the floor.

As Mrs Morris tried to get up, her son slapped her face.

Morris then continued battering his father as he lay on the ground before going out into the garden appearing to look for a spade.

Prosecutor Andrew Miller told the court: "He explained to police later that he planned to scare his father into believing that he was going to dig a hole for him."

Mr Morris fled his property and went to a nearby house for help. His neighbours initially did not recognise him because his head was covered in blood.

The court heard Morris stormed after his father and dragged him across the ground.

Stripped naked

Mr Miller said: "The accused continued his assault and then stripped his father naked apart from his socks before repeatedly kicking him."

Morris eventually stopped and made his escape shortly before police arrived on the scene.

He initially went to Troon beach to change his clothes before boarding a train to Glasgow.

Police meanwhile discovered a badly-beaten Mr Morris, who told him his son was responsible.

Mrs Morris was then found slumped on a sofa in the bungalow apparently not breathing.

The couple were both taken to hospital but Mrs Morris was soon pronounced dead.

The court heard that the next morning Morris called his ex-partner Ms Russell shortly before he got on a train to London.

He told her he had "hit his dad" adding: "I think my mum is dead - I think she's had a stroke or a heart attack.

"I don't know if I am sane or insane or should be locked up in a loony bin."

Morris was detained as he got off the train later that day at Euston Station before being brought back to Scotland for questioning.

Killer 'conflicted'

He confessed to hitting his parents and telling his father at one point: "Your wife doesn't look very well."

Morris said he felt "conflicted" whether to call for an ambulance as he was not sure his mother "was pretending or not".

He also recalled getting the keys to his father's BMW to scare him into thinking he was going to stick him in the boot.

Morris added: "I didn't murder my mother. I didn't have any intention of murdering either of my parents or killing them or for them to die."

The court was told Mrs Morris died because to a heart condition that had been diagnosed in 1996 and was known to her family.

Mr Miller said: "The effect of this condition was that any strenuous physical activity or stressful situations had the potential to be life-threatening."

Mr Morris spent seven days in hospital following the attack, receiving treatment for injuries including a fractured eye socket.

Morris' QC Mark Stewart said it was clear the attacks were "borne out of the mental illness" he was suffering at the time.

Judge Lord Uist imposed an interim compulsion order for Morris to remain at the State Hospital in Carstairs. He will return to the dock in May.

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