A songwriter stabbed his mum to death with a sword, cut off her head and put in the freezer in a horrifying attack.
Philip Tarver, 47, had taken cocaine and drunk beer and vodka before killing his 86-year-old mum Angela Tarver.
The Old Bailey in London heard how Tarver also cut off his mum’s head and placed it in the freezer, then put her severed ring finger inside a kettle on December 19 last year.
His dad, 83-year-old Colin Tarver, ran to the bottom of the driveway to alert police after he found his wife of 59 years lying on their kitchen floor in Woking, Surrey.
Tarver answered the front door wearing a see-through floral negligee, waving a Union flag and holding a knife, telling police: ‘I surrender, I surrender.’
A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for more than 12 hours to find him guilty of murdering his mother and threatening to kill his father.
Mrs Tarver had suffered a severe stroke in 1991 which affected her mobility and speech, the court heard.
Tarver was a trained clock maker, and although currently unemployed had lived with his parents for most of his life and relied on them for financial support while he pursued his love of music.
On the morning of the killing, he behaved strangely, claiming alcohol was ‘poisoned’ before unplugging the phone and computer.
When his father confronted him about why the TV was also disconnected, Tarver slammed the door and told him to ‘go and die’.
Mr Tarver set about reconnecting the TV set in time for Bargain Hunt as Mrs Tarver sat in the kitchen having a cup of tea.
He then said he heard a scream and found his wife on her back on the floor and his son holding a sword – who then also turned on his father.
From the witness box, the pensioner said: ‘He looked strange, demented. His eyes were a yellow colour. He said “I’ve got to kill you”.’
Mr Tarver pulled the sword out of his son’s hands and went outside to call the police.
Following his arrest, the defendant heard his father talking to police and remarked: ‘Oh, of course, his wife. His wife is in the freezer.’
At the police station, he said he was ‘sorry for killing her’, adding he ‘must repent my sins’.
Tarver claimed in court his retired oil industry worker dad must have killed his mum then staged the scene to frame him.
But prosecutor Alexandra Healy QC said all the evidence pointed to the defendant, and the accusation against his father was ‘preposterous’.
If they decided Tarver was responsible for his mother’s death, the remaining issue was whether his psychosis had been brought on by drugs. Ms Healy said there would be no partial defence of diminished responsibility if Tarver’s mental state was drug-induced.
Tarver, who became emotional as the verdict was delivered, was remanded into custody to be sentenced on October 8.
Detective inspector Chris Rambour, from the Surrey and Sussex major crime team, said: ‘Our thoughts remain with Angela’s friends and family at this time who have been left devastated by her death.
‘I hope that the verdict reached today will bring them some form of closure and allow them to begin to move on with their lives.
‘I would like to thank all those who gave evidence, as well as the investigating team, whose contribution ensured that Philip Tarver has been brought to justice for Angela’s death.’
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