Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Woman 'killed parents with iron' at Bournemouth home

A woman accused of murdering her elderly parents at their home drugged them before stabbing and hitting them both with an iron, a court heard.

Arthur Toop, 82, and his wife Joan, 74, were discovered dead at their Uplands Road bungalow in Charminster, Bournemouth, on 28 November last year.

Winchester Crown Court was told their daughter Susan Toop, 54, a nurse, also attacked them with a knife.

She admits manslaughter with diminished responsibility but denies murder.

Multiple knife wounds

Ms Toop, who worked in the outpatients department of the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, told police that she wanted to put her parents out of their misery, the jury heard.

But Timothy Mousley QC, prosecuting, told the court that the parents "had a good quality of life".

He added that Ms Toop's relationship with her "domineering" mother had deteriorated in the weeks before they were killed.

The court heard that friends of the family contacted police after Mrs Toop and her daughter failed to attend a hair appointment on 28 November.

When officers arrived at the house, Ms Toop, who was suffering from a wound to her neck and cuts to her wrists, told them she had inflicted the injuries on herself.

Mr Mousley said that she told police in an interview that she had taken drugs prescribed to her for insomnia to give her courage to kill her parents.

Blunt force

Ms Toop, who worked for the NHS for 30 years, crushed up tablets and placed them in her father's sandwich and mother's coffee before swallowing more than 60 herself, the court heard.

The jury heard that Mr Toop died from multiple blunt force injuries which fractured his skull and "pulped" his brain.

Mrs Toop suffered multiple blunt force injuries, also probably caused by the ornamental flat iron, and also suffered 28 knife wounds.

The court heard that Ms Toop, who has been detained in a mental health hospital, was overheard by a nurse saying: "It wasn't meant to happen like this, I just wanted us all to go together."

The case continues.

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