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Mother stabbed to death by her 16-year-old son

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

A teenage boy has been found guilty of the murder of his mother who he stabbed to death after losing his temper.

Kieren Smith killed 42-year-old Leah Whittle at her home in Benville Road, Weymouth, Dorset, on July 21 – when he was just 16.

A jury found him guilty of murder at Winchester Crown Court yesterday following an

eight-day trial.

Smith is due to be sentenced at the same court today.

Following the conviction, Detective Inspector Marcus Hester, of Dorset Police,

said: “This case involved a particularly horrific and sustained attack on a woman who was unable to defend herself.

“This is a very tragic case where a young man, through his own violent actions, has killed his mother.

“He now has to face the consequences of these actions as well as to live with the loss of his mother.”

The detective inspector added: “Our sympathy is with Leah Whittle’s family and friends who are still coming to terms with their loss.”

The trial heard that Smith repeatedly attacked his mother in the flat they shared.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the defendant, who is now 17, had an interest in knives and had a temper, but he said the reason for the alleged murder would never be known.

The teenager had denied the killing and claimed that men came down from Doncaster in Yorkshire to execute his mother because his brother had got into trouble over a drug debt.

He told friends and the police that he had seen the man or men attack his mother through a bathroom door.

The defendant said that when they had left he had bolted the door, taken some money from his mother’s purse and escaped through a window and down a drainpipe.

Mr Smith told the jury that the defendant had spoken to a girlfriend in the hours before his mother was murdered to say she only had a couple of days to live because of the problems over drug debt.

But the barrister alleged that this was just “setting a scene for some sort of attack on his mother”.

He suggested the teenager had either formed a murderous intent or the bravado of the conversation had spurred him on to commit murder because he was “brooding” over something that had happened between them.

The court heard that mother and son had a difficult relationship, but the teenager told police the pair were close.