Ad­dict slit throat of his gran be­fore stab­bing her Debt-rid­den drug user mur­dered his grand­mother in her home

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Josh Payne Staff Re­porter

ACOCAINE user has been con­victed of mur­der­ing his grand­mother in a bru­tal knife at­tack af­ter build­ing up a £35,000 gam­bling debt.

Gre­gory Irvin cut the throat of Anne James and stabbed her 30 times in the chest and back af­ter as­sault­ing the pen­sioner from be­hind at her home in Wal­sall.

He de­nied mur­der­ing his 74-year-old vic­tim on Fe­bru­ary 28, a week af­ter her hus­band was ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal with pneu­mo­nia.

Birm­ing­ham Crown Court had heard how Mrs James trusted Irvin im­plic­itly and al­ways wel­comed him into her home of al­most 40 years in Doveridge Place, High­gate.

She had been mak­ing soup and un­pack­ing af­ter a shop­ping trip be­fore Irvin launched his bru­tal at­tack.

He re­moved a se­cu­rity cam­era and his grand­mother’s mo­bile phone from the house.

Irvin, of Bil­boe Road, Bil­ston, told a po­lice of­fi­cer the fol­low­ing day that he had not seen her on the day she died. Blood match­ing that of Mrs James was found on the 26-year-old’s jacket and on the ac­cel­er­a­tor of his Mini af­ter she was found dead on her pantry floor.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence dur­ing his trial, Irvin told the jury he had been hear­ing “dev­il­ish” voices and had dif­fi­culty sleep­ing.

Ad­journ­ing sen­tence, Mrs Jus­tice Jef­ford told Irvin: “You have been found guilty by this jury of mur­der and you will be taken down.”

Ja­son Cor­den-Bowen, of the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice, said: “Greg Irvin abused his grand­mother’s trust and mur­dered her in her home.

“She al­lowed him ac­cess to her locked prop­erty and he re­sponded by killing her in an apparently mo­tive­less and bru­tal at­tack. He cal­lously aban­doned her and later de­nied be­ing in her house.”

He added: “The de­fen­dant claimed he had no me­mory of the in­ci­dent but the CPS pre­sented ev­i­dence to the jury, in­clud­ing CCTV footage and foren­sic ev­i­dence, which proved he was re­spon­si­ble. Our thoughts are to­day with the fam­ily and friends of Ms James.”

Det Insp Harry Har­ri­son, from West Mid­lands Po­lice’s homi­cide team, said: “This was a de­spi­ca­ble crime by a com­pul­sive liar who shunned and ma­nip­u­lated the love and sup­port of­fered by his fam­ily.

“By killing his grand­mother he has de­stroyed their lives and has rightly been con­victed of mur­der.

“This was some­one Mrs James would have trusted as her grand­son and who had al­ways been wel­comed into her home.”

He added: “My thoughts re­main with the fam­ily and I truly hope they can move on and re­build their lives.”

Irvin will be sen­tenced on Oc­to­ber 29.

> Vic­tim Anne James and killer grand­son Gre­gory Irvin

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