Liverpool Psychologist Robert Child Jailed 29 Years for Murdering His Mother

September 9, 2020

A "selfish narcissist" murdered his mother in a hammer attack to prevent the collapse of his "fantasy lifestyle", a judge has ruled.

Robert Child, 37, admitted murdering his mother Janice, 64, at her home in Woolton, Liverpool, on 6 March, but denied it was for financial gain.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Child was in serious financial difficulties.

Judge Dennis Watson QC said it was a "merciless attack" to obtain her money and jailed Child for at least 29 years.

The court was told the psychologist struck his mother 31 times to her face and neck before "spontaneously" transferring £25,000 from her bank account to his own.

The following morning he bought a Jaguar car for nearly £15,000.

'Prolific liar'

Child tried to give himself an alibi by leaving his phone at Liverpool University, where he sometimes worked, before making calls from his mother's phone to his, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

But his "complicated plan to cover his tracks" unraveled when detectives discovered a screwed-up bus ticket from the area where his mother lived, proving he had been there a short time after her death.

He also made "the vital mistake" of leaving his fingerprint in his mother's blood on the handle of the door, the CPS said.

Shortly after he had killed his mother, Robert Child was caught on CCTV laughing with a bus driver

The court heard he had visited his mother to say goodbye as he planned to drive to Italy in the car and end his own life.

Giving evidence at a trial of issue, Child said he lost his temper after she revealed to him she had been using multiple Twitter accounts to troll online his estranged wife - even though there was no evidence Mrs. Child had a Twitter account.

A trial of issue is where the defendant has pleaded guilty to an offence on the basis of a different version of facts from that put forward by the prosecution.

Judge Dennis Watson QC rejected his account and said the defendant did "whatever was necessary to gain access to the money he needed."

He said Child was in "serious" financial difficulties with credit card and loan defaults amounting to £30,000, as well as county court judgments totaling £16,000 against him, but was living "far, far beyond his means."

Child bought a Jaguar car for nearly £15,000 after transferring £25,000 from his mother's bank account to his own

In the months before the killing he made trips to London, Barcelona and Disneyland Paris but on 5 March had just £1.01 in his bank account.

Judge Watson said "prolific liar" Child lied about achieving a doctorate and a PhD, about working for Manchester United and working in combat zones for the Ministry of Defense.

He also fabricated a bleed to the brain and claimed he had played hockey for Great Britain, the court heard.

The judge said: "This was a murder done for gain and in expectation of gain" and his realization that without Mrs. Child's money "his fantasy lifestyle would collapse."

Jailing him for life, Judge Watson said Child was a "selfish narcissist" who carried out a "spiteful" attack on his mother.

After sentencing Det. Ch. Insp Cheryl Rhodes said Mrs. Child was "brutally murdered in an appalling violent attack" and Child had "gone to great lengths to try to lie and cheat his way out of the consequences of his actions, in the same way as he has lied his way through life."

Source: “Robert Child jailed for killing mum with hammer,” BBC News, Sept. 8, 2020, URL:  


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