Betty Guy murder trial: 'Drugs and alcohol used to kill'

Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption,
Penelope John and Barry Rogers were arrested in July

A woman was killed by her daughter and grandson who gave her a cocktail of drugs and alcohol before suffocating her, a court has heard.

Penelope John, 50, and Barry Rogers, 33, of Pembrokeshire, are alleged to have killed Betty Guy, 84, of Johnston, in November 2011.

Swansea Crown Court heard Mr Rogers told an ex-partner he and his mother had killed her.

Both deny her murder.

Paul Lewis, prosecuting, described how the pair drove from Mr Rogers' house in Frome, Somerset, and gave Mrs Guy "a cocktail of crushed tablets and alcohol".

It is alleged Mr Rogers then deliberately killed her "probably by smothering her with an object such as a cushion or pillow".

Ms John then contacted the emergency services in the early hours of 7 November to say she thought her mother had died.

She also said Mrs Guy had stomach and bowel cancer but the prosecution said that was not the case, although she may have feared she had.

While the retired nurse suffered from health complaints, there was nothing in her medical history to suggest she had cancer and was not terminally ill, Mr Lewis said.

Mr Lewis added: "Even if she had been however, the law still does not permit the killing of one person by another in circumstances such as this."

Image source, Wales News Service

Her GP, Dr Roger Burns, reported bruising to the legs and mouth, but no post-mortem examination was carried out.

A death certificate listed the cause of death as broncho-pneumonia, septicaemia and hypertensive heart disease.

However, in 2015, Mr Rogers' ex-partner Sandra Adams told police he had told her he had been involved in the death of his grandmother with his mother.

"He told Ms Adams in essence that he had smothered Mrs Guy by putting a pillow over her face," Mr Lewis said.

A police investigation was launched and the court heard Mr Rogers had also confessed his involvement to other former partners.

He and his mother were arrested in October 2016 but they maintained Mrs Guy died of natural causes.

While they were in custody, a covert audio device was installed at Ms John's St Dogmaels home in Pembrokeshire.

This picked up the pair discussing Mrs Guy's death and they were heard saying, "which were inconsistent with her having died naturally," Mr Lewis said.

But he added: "What the defendants did, whatever their motivation, was wholly unlawful and each of them is guilty of the murder of Mrs Guy."

The trial continues.