Essex

Clacton death: Scott Hilling 'watched TV in between stabbing' victim

Mr Hilling denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Scott Hilling says voices told him to kill Kathleen Griffin

A killer who stabbed a grandmother to death in her own home watched television in between attacking her with knives, a court has heard.

Kathleen Griffin, 57, died at her flat in Clacton, Essex, last December.

Scott Hilling denies murder but admits manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility, telling Chelmsford Crown Court voices forced him to kill.

He told a psychiatrist he went to McDonalds after stabbing her and also watched TV with her dead body nearby.

Psychiatrist Dr David Baird said homeless Mr Hilling, who was staying with Ms Griffin at the time of her death, had told him he stabbed her in the neck and chest before "watching TV for 15 minutes" and then carrying on the attack.

He said Mr Hilling told him he "felt calm" after the killing, adding: "I was watching TV with the body in front of me and looking over it. I had no feelings about her being dead."

The court previously heard Ms Griffin had been tortured with a scalpel before Mr Hilling stripped her and tried to burn her body.

Image caption Kathleen Griffin was fatally stabbed at her home in Old Street, Clacton

Dr Baird said Mr Hilling's "rational judgement was substantially impaired".

He said the defendant claimed he had been sexually abused by his father as a child and was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine.

The jury was also told Mr Hilling has three recognised conditions which substantially impaired his mental functioning, including a low IQ and the mental age of a 12-year-old.

"His extremely difficult and tragic upbringing and his experience of emotional and sexual abuse has meant that he has developed the ability to detach himself and protect himself from negative emotions," Dr Baird said.

"It's likely to have taught him that violence is an acceptable response to strong emotions which are triggered in him."

The trial continues.

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