Son beat mum to death with ashtray in ‘ferocious’ attack

The 37-year-old punched, kicked and strangled his 75-year-old mother.

Son beat mum to death with ashtray in ‘ferocious’ attack Police Scotland

A man who beat his pensioner mother to death before leaving her lifeless body to be found by his brother has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years.

Craig Haley left the 75-year-old with at least 55 injuries following the attack at her home in Hamilton, Lanarkshire on February 8 last year.

The 37-year-old punched, kicked, dragged, strangled and bludgeoned Mary Haley with an ashtray.

Neighbours heard Ms Haley plead with her son to “get off” her and telling him she “couldn’t breath” during the fatal attack.

He then fled to a nearby shop, where he was caught on camera buying alcohol and a packet of crisps, leaving her lifeless body to be found by another son the next day.

Haley was convicted of murder following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Lord Sandison imposed a life sentence for what he called “ferocious and sustained violence” and Haley smirked as he was lead handcuffed to the cells.

The killer was said to have been aggressive and demanding cash from his mum in the weeks before the killing, including claims he assaulted her and smashed pictures at her home.

He was seen returning to her address on the afternoon of the murder.

Ms Haley’s neighbour recalled hearing the killer yelling at the OAP,

The witness also described an “evil laugh” and him “growling like a dog”.

She told jurors: “He was shouting that his dad was better off without her and she was an ‘old b***h’ and a ‘sl**’.

“I heard Mary say ‘what you on today, you must be on something’.

“He must have been on top of her as she said ‘can you get off me, I can’t breathe’.”

She then heard what she thought was furniture being dragged – but prosecutors believe it was Mary being pulled across the property.

The witness was so scared she left for her daughter’s home.

When she returned that night, Mary’s blinds were shut and a light on, which was described as unusual.

It emerged Haley fled using a key to lock the door leaving his dying or already dead mum inside.

Mary’s other son Scott Glassford went to her home the next day.

The 40-year-old sobbed as he recalled shouting for the pensioner – then finding her lying in the living room.
Scott said: “I put my hand on her finger and it was cold.

“I touched her chest but it was also cold and there was blood on her face.”

The court heard Mary had 55 blunt force injuries to her head and body and fractures in her neck consistent with being strangled.

Mary had further suffered a brain injury as a result of the attack.

Haley was spotted that night at a cash machine and then at a petrol station near his home in Larkhall, Lanarkshire buying drink and crisps.

In his speech to jurors, prosecutor Graeme Jessop said: “Does that sound like someone who cares if his mother lives or dies after he attacked her?

“He did not dial 999 or seek assistance for her.”

Haley also asked a neighbour for a radio, which Mr Jessop suggested was needed to check local news about the death.

DNA also linked Haley to the crime including his prints on an ashtray thought to have been used as a weapon to strike his mum.

Haley had denied murder. He was said to have told a witness that he had been “defending himself”.

It emerged after the verdict the killer already had 24 convictions including for assault.

Sentencing, Lord Sandison said: “This was a vicious attack in your mother’s home.

“Your crime defies the comprehension of any decent person.

“She was a loving and loved mother. You entered the house and took the life of someone who had given you life.”

Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team led the inquiry with assistance from local uniformed officers and Haley was arrested and charged the following day.

Detective Inspector Frank Travers, senior investigating officer, said: “This was an isolated and targeted attack which has been incredibly difficult for the victim’s family to come to terms with.

“Our officers acted swiftly to gather evidence and arrest Craig Haley, which ultimately led to his conviction today.

“Craig Haley will now have to live with consequences and realisation of what he has done.

“Hopefully this conviction will give Mary’s family closure on what has been an extremely difficult time.

“I would like to thank those who came forward with vital pieces of information that assisted with our inquiry.”

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