Bernadette Green murder: Ex-police officer found guilty

John Stephen Green Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption John Stephen Green referred to his mother as "a stinking corpse" in text messages before her death, police said

An ex-policeman has been found guilty of smothering his elderly mother because he saw her as "a burden" who was "ruining his life".

John Stephen Green, 66, killed his mother Bernadette, 88, at their family home in Preston, Lancashire on 18 May.

He had referred to her as "a stinking corpse" in text messages in the months before her death, police said.

Green was jailed for life with a minimum term of 14 years following a trial at Preston Crown Court.

The defendant had lived with his mother at his former childhood home in Inkerman Street since 2009 after the failure of his marriage.

Mrs Green's death was not initially thought to be suspicious but a murder investigation was launched following a post-mortem examination on 6 June.

The trial heard her body showed signs of "severe neglect".

'Abhorrent case'

There was "clear" evidence she had been smothered, according to Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour.

Green, a former officer with Lancashire Constabulary, denied the charge and had asked if Dr Armour saw "the right body" during the trial.

Mrs Green's death was referred to the coroner because she had not seen a doctor since October 2013.

Police said at the time of her death, she weighed just 5st 10lbs (32kg) compared to 12st (76kg) in 2013 and her son had turned down all opportunities for medical assistance.

Det Chief Insp Geoff Hurst said it was "an abhorrent case where a man who should have been caring for his elderly, vulnerable mother instead neglected her and ultimately took her life so he could be free of his perceived burden of caring for her".

"Green denied his involvement throughout despite significant evidence to the contrary," he added.

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