Angela Douglas given life sentence for mother's murder

Angela Douglas Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Angela Douglas, 49, was handed a life sentence at Plymouth Crown Court

A woman who murdered her sick mother as she lay in her bed has been imprisoned for a minimum of 12 years.

Angela Douglas, 49, was handed a life sentence at Plymouth Crown Court.

Douglas, of Redhill Close, Plymouth, suffocated her 73-year-old mother Anne Matthews with a pillow, saying she wanted to end her pain. She had denied murder.

Mrs Matthews suffered a heart attack and multiple organ failure as a result and died in hospital.

During the trial the court heard how Mrs Matthews suffered from emphysema and chronic shortness of breath but, although very unwell, she was not dying at the time.

The jury was told Douglas had drunk more than two bottles of wine before she went upstairs to smother her mother in April last year.

She told detectives that on the day of the murder she spent a lot of time with her mother lying on her bed "holding her, stroking her face and kissing her".

'Been through enough'

Douglas said the illness was a cruel way to treat her mother who had been in an and out of hospital, the court was told.

When ambulance crews arrived at the victim's home, Douglas told them: "I don't want you to do anything. She has been through enough."

When she was arrested she told the police: "I love my mum. I could not stand to see her like that."

Mrs Matthews died the following day in Plymouth's Derriford Hospital.

The jury heard Douglas may have been suffering from an abnormality of mental function at the time which affected her self control and making rational judgements.

For the defence, a psychiatrist told the court Douglas found the situation "emotionally untenable" as she used more alcohol to try to cope with the stress.

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