Son who killed mum had debts

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A son carried out a calculated cold-blooded killing of his mother to whom he owed more than £100,000, a court was told.

It is alleged that Neale James carefully prepared the grave for his 78-year-old mum Brenda James in woods on the Goodwood Estate and later buried her there after hitting her over the head with an axe-type weapon.

The 51-year-old admits killing his mum, who lived at the Lakeside Holiday Park in Vinnetrow Road, Chichester, but claims it was not planned.

His defence, Samuel Stein QC said he lost self-control after comments she made about his daughter while the pair were walking through the woods in Goodwood.

The jury sitting in the first day of the trial at Hove Crown Court in Brighton on Monday were told by Jonathan Davies for the prosecution that James had a gambling problem. He is accused of deceiving his mother into giving him £102,000 which he said was for his business and his children.

However he lost an estimated £75,000 of it at betting shops, mainly in fruit machines, while winning back some £23,000.

James, who lived with his mum, denies murdering her between March 16 and 23 of March this year.