Mother on trial accused of trying to kill son

1 November 2016 4:28PM

A mother hatched a "murderous" plot which led to her eldest son having his throat slashed by his younger brother, a court has heard.

Alison Mary Murphy, 52, is alleged to have made her intention known in a text message exchange just over an hour before Tony Murphy was stabbed inside her Copeland Avenue home in Whitehaven.

The alleged attack late on April 15, left him with a deep wound after his jugular vein was sliced.

Alison Murphy denies attempting to murder Tony Murphy and has gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Francis McEntee told jurors that Alison Murphy's youngest son, 22-year-old Gary Murphy, had already pleaded guilty to the attempted murder charge.

"The prosecution say that Gary Murphy was acting in furtherance of his mother's wishes and it is on this basis that we say Alison Murphy is also guilty of attempted murder," he said.

Mr McEntee told the court that both sons were, "in their own way, troubled".

Tony, an alcoholic, lived in Milton Keynes, while his west Cumbria-based brother was "fixated on self-harm and, indeed, on the idea of committing suicide".

Alison Murphy, he alleged, "knew that Gary's suicidal ideation was associated with a desire to take someone with him, to kill someone he hated, before he died".

On April 15, Tony Murphy visiting his mother's home. When she returned to the property there was an argument. She wanted him to go to bed and at some point she put him on the phone to Gary.

It is alleged there was an exchange of text messages between Alison Murphy and her youngest son. When Gary Murphy arrived at the house, his mother went upstairs.

"She knew what she had put in motion," said Mr McEntee. "She didn't have the stomach to be present when it happened.

"While she was upstairs Gary had stabbed Tony in a surprise attack. The first he realised he had been stabbed was when he saw the blood. He realised what had happened and grabbed and overpowered his brother.

"He called his mother for help. It is clear even by her own account that she didn't immediately call the ambulance. We say she prevaricated despite Tony's requests for help, asking whether he really needed an ambulance.

"It would be apparent from the outset that the attack on Tony was far from well planned," the prosecutor added. "But the attack happened. It did happen with murderous intent."

Jurors had earlier been told: "The issue for you will be whether Alison Murphy was a part of that."

The trial continues.

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