Accused gran killer ’confused’
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.