Drug user jailed for life af­ter killing his own gran

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

A CO­CAINE-user who mur­dered his grand­mother by cut­ting her throat and stab­bing her more than 40 times has been branded “evil” by his fam­ily as he was jailed for life.

Gre­gory Irvin, who had a £35,000 gam­bling debt, stabbed Anne James in the back and chest, af­ter as­sault­ing the pen­sioner in the kitchen of her Wal­sall home.

Irvin wept in the dock of Birm­ing­ham Crown Court on Mon­day as he was sen­tenced to life with a min­i­mum of 24 years for the for­mer nurse’s killing.

Irvin claimed he could not re­mem­ber the in­ci­dent – a fact ruled out as a “lie” by Mrs Jus­tice Nerys Jef­ford, who de­scribed the in­ci­dent as an at­tack of the “most ex­tra­or­di­nary fe­roc­ity and cru­elty”.

Mrs James, a church-goer who had been hap­pily mar­ried for more than 40 years, was “like a lamb to the slaugh­ter”, her son An­drew James said in a state­ment read to court.

He said: “She died ter­ri­fied and alone, with an evil grand­son. He has ripped out my heart and stamped on it. She would have been frozen with fear – like a lamb to the slaugh­ter.”

Irvin, had a £100-a-week drug habit and a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for steal­ing £29,000 of de­signer gloves from for­mer em­ployer.

Af­ter the at­tack, he “car­ried on as if noth­ing hap­pened”, vis­it­ing his par­ents, do­ing the wash­ing up, and watched tele­vi­sion, be­fore get­ting a call from fam­ily to say his grand­mother was dead.

The judge told Irvin: “You have put your fam­ily through the trauma of this trial. You’re own mother was too un­well to give ev­i­dence. Fam­ily mem­bers have had to sit in court and hear, over and over, the hor­ror of Anne James’s in­juries, know­ing they were in­flicted by one of their own.”

Irvin was linked to the crime by foren­sics, when blood match­ing that of Mrs James was found on the killer’s jacket and car.

Irvin, whose bar­ris­ter Ti­mothy Rag­gatt QC told the court had been bul­lied at school, sex­u­ally as­saulted as a child, and had “high-func­tion­ing” autis­tic spec­trum disor­der, nod­ded as he was jailed.

> Killer Gre­gory Irvin

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