Mother gets 9-yr jail for murdering disabled son

Mother gets 9-yr jail for murdering disabled son

Frances Inglis insisted throughout the trial that she was innocent because she had killed her son with love in her heart. GUARDIAN

Frances Inglis, 57, insisted throughout the two-week trial that she was innocent because she had killed her son with love in her heart, and not malice. She was given a life sentence and told she must spend a minimum of nine years in jail.

Tom Inglis was left severely brain­damaged after a road accident in July 2007, and his mother believed he was locked into a “living hell” with no hope of recovery.

But 10 members of the jury were not convinced, and by a majority verdict she was found guilty of murdering him when he lay in bed in a care home in November 2008. She was also found guilty of making a previous attempt on his life. As the foreman read the verdict, members of Inglis’ family were escorted out of the public gallery after shouting “shame on you”.

Judge Brian Barker at the Old Bailey said: “You cannot take the law into your own hands and you cannot take away life, however compelling you think the reason.”

Giving evidence, Inglis, a softly spoken mother of three from Dagenham, east London, had maintained that as far as she was concerned, Tom’s life ended on 7 July 2007 when he fell out of a moving ambulance. He had been injured in a fight outside a pub, and then suffered serious head injuries after falling from the vehicle.

The head injuries Tom Inglis sustained in Rush Green Road, Romford, were so serious that his mother believed he would never lead a normal life again. So when she injected him with a lethal dose of heroin 16 months later as he lay in a care home, mute and in need of 24-hour care, she didn’t feel she was murdering him. She was releasing him, she told the court.

Sobbing in the witness box, she said: “I know Tom – no way would he have wanted to live totally dependent... I know Tom would not want to live.”

Speaking after the verdict, Inglis’ oldest son, Alex, 26, said: “I want to say that all of the family and Tom’s girlfriend support my mum 100 per cent.”

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