Cumbria

Mum jailed over plot to murder her eldest son

Alison Murphy Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Alison Murphy hatched an "unsophisticated plot"

A mother who plotted to kill her son with the help of his younger brother has been jailed for 17 years.

Alison Murphy, 52, was convicted of the attempted murder of Tony Murphy, 26, who was stabbed in the neck by Gary Murphy at her Whitehaven home in April.

Carlisle Crown Court heard she sent a string of text messages to her 23-year-old son before the attack. One read: "I definitely think he should be killed".

Gary Murphy, who admitted attempted murder, was given a hospital order.

During Ms Murphy's trial in November, the court heard she had sent texts including "I wish I'd never had him" and "I'm fine with whatever as long as he dies".

Another read: "Not sure stabbings [sic] is the right method. We should make him fall in the harbour or off a cliff."

Image copyright Cumbria Constabulary/Craig McGlasson
Image caption Gary Murphy (left) attacked his older brother Anthony with a knife

After the attack at her home in Copland Avenue - in which Tony Murphy suffered a wound to his neck - Alison Murphy called an ambulance, and helped stem the bleeding.

However, analysis of her mobile phone weeks later showed the "unsophisticated plot" she had hatched with Gary Murphy.

'Brutal attack'

In court, Tony Murphy read an impact statement saying he believed his mother was innocent, and he would look after her house and pet dog until she was released.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Peter Davies said they would both face long periods of confinement.

Gary Murphy was ordered to be detained indefinitely in a secure hospital while he receives treatment.

Following sentencing, Det Ch Insp Roy Ledingham, of Cumbria Police, said: "Gary Murphy intended to kill his brother that day and it is only through luck and the excellent work of medical staff that he does not find himself being sentenced for murder today.

"The evidence put before the court clearly showed the attack on his brother was not only pre-meditated but carried out following the encouragement of the mother.

"It was a brutal attack and I welcome the sentences handed down today."

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