Essex

Clacton death: Kathleen Griffin 'tortured with scalpel'

Mr Hilling denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Scott Hilling denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

A man tortured a grandmother with a scalpel before stabbing her to death, a court heard.

Scott Hilling, 25, was staying with Kathleen Griffin at her Clacton home at the time he killed her, the jury heard.

The court was told he stripped her body naked before trying to burn it.

At Chelmsford Crown Court Mr Hilling denies murdering Mrs Griffin in Old Road in the town on 17 December, but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Image caption The court heard Mr Hilling was staying with Ms Griffin at her Old Road home at the time of her death

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said Ms Griffin, known as Kathy, was struck so hard in the face that she suffered brain damage.

The 57-year-old was tied up by her wrists, a scalpel was used as a "torture device" claimed Mr Gair, to make 'superficial wounds' over the victim's body.

She was then stabbed with a kitchen knife 13 or 14 times in the neck, chest, abdomen and back, he told the court.

The court heard he then doused her body with lighter fuel before attempting to set it alight.

Mr Hilling's clothes which were seized when he was arrested, had the victim's blood on a jacket sleeve and on his trainers, the jury was told.

The trial continues.

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