Ac­cused gran killer ’con­fused’

Herald Sun - - NEWS - SHAN­NON DEERY

A MAN charged with killing a Vic­to­rian grand­mother is con­fused and de­pressed, a court has heard.

Ben Ward­law, 39, was yes­ter­day charged with mur­der­ing Karen Ashcroft, 52, on Mon­day. He was found hid­ing in a drain with what po­lice said were self-in­flicted wounds hours af­ter Ms Ashcroft died in her Mary­bor­ough home.

At a brief fil­ing hear­ing in the Mel­bourne Mag­is­trates’ Court, his lawyer told Mag­is­trate Sarah Dawes that Mr Ward­law ap­peared con­fused.

He was de­pressed and ur­gently needed to see a psy­chi­atric nurse, the court heard.

Mr Ward­law was taken to Bendigo Hos­pi­tal with an in­jury to his arm af­ter his ar­rest.

Bare­foot and dressed in a track­suit, he was not re­quired to say any­thing in court. It is be­lieved he knew Ms Ashcroft.

Neigh­bours spoke of their shock over the death of the woman who had adult and teenage chil­dren and had lived in Mary­bor­ough all her life.

“She’d give you the shirt off her back, she’d feed you if you were need­ing a feed, she’d get you money if you needed money, any­thing,” Kim Barns told the ABC.

Mr Ward­law was re­manded to reap­pear in Septem­ber.

Jane Fonda

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