Leeds & West Yorkshire

Murder accused soldier Aaron Wilkinson 'turned mad man'

An ex-soldier told a jury he felt as though he had "turned into a mad man" when he shot and killed his landlady.

Aaron Wilkinson, 24, is accused of murdering Judith Garnett, 52, by shooting her three times at their home in Alma Street, Woodlesford, Leeds.

Mr Wilkinson told Bradford Crown Court he had felt like he was in a "trance" and could not explain the killing.

He denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Wilkinson told the jury: "All of a sudden, something came over me, I don't know what, I can't explain, all I just remember seeing is me lunging over to the other bed and I just watched myself load the gun and fire."

'Pack of lies'

He added: "It sort of went black and white and hazy at times. It was like I just turned into a mad man."

The court has heard Mr Wilkinson went on a six-month tour of duty of Afghanistan in 2009.

Following his return, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress reaction by an Army doctor and has since been found to suffer from Asperger's syndrome, or a similar condition.

The court was told Mr Wilkinson moved in with Mrs Garnett after an argument with his mother.

On the day of the shooting, Mrs Garnett shouted at him for not letting her dogs out during the day and then told him to "pack his bags".

In cross-examination, prosecutor Richard Mansell QC suggested Mr Wilkinson's story was a "pack of lies".

He said Mr Wilkinson was feeling "a bit lost in civilian life" and the killing was revenge for being told to move out.

The case continues.

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