Glasgow & West Scotland

Grandmother's death 'stuff of nightmares'

fire engine at house
Image caption Catherine Kelly died in the fire at her Kilmarnock home

The death of a grandmother who was allegedly set on fire by her son is "the stuff of nightmares", a court has been told.

William Kelly denies murdering his 71-year-old mother Cathy at their home in Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock in February.

But in her closing speech prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC said the evidence against Mr Kelly, 42, was compelling.

She added: "The evidence shows that the accused has brutally beaten his elderly mother while shouting: 'Die'"

The jury were also told Mr Kelly poured petrol on the pensioner and set her on fire.

Ms Edwards said: "You might think this is a crime of of unimaginable violence, horror and depravity.

"You might think this is the stuff of nightmares and the murder of Cathy Kelly is all these things and more.

"But you must come to your verdict solely on the evidence - and that evidence is clear and unequivocal."

She told the High Court in Glasgow: "What Cathy Kelly suffered at the hands of her son - ma boy as she called him - is a picture so clear and what emerges is the guilt of William Kelly for the brutal murder of his mother."

'Biggest beneficiary'

The prosecutor said the starting point for finding Mr Kelly guilty was to look at the evidence of his former partner, Eleanor Banks.

She claimed in evidence that he beat up his mother, then poured petrol over her and set her on fire.

Mrs Banks said that Cathy "went up like an inferno."

The prosecutor told the jurors there was also evidence that Mr Kelly told a nurse while he was in hospital: "I did what I had to do. I was provoked. She got what she deserved."

But defence QC Gordon Jackson later told the jury they should acquit his client.

Mr Jackson said the Crown case relied heavily on the evidence of Ms Banks despite the fact she is the "biggest possible beneficiary".

The court has heard that Ms Kelly disinherited her daughter Catherine Cree and left all her property to her son.

But Mr Jackson told the jury that the pensioner wrote into her will a clause stating that if anything happened to Mr Kelly her estate was to go to Ms Banks.

Mr Jackson said: "If William can't get the money for some reason, like he is convicted of murdering his mother, it all goes to Eleanor Banks."

The trial continues.

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