Clerkenwell man is cleared of mother’s murder but jailed for manslaughter

A son who strangled his frail 81-year-old mother and kept her decomposing body in his home has been cleared of murder

Thomas Quinn, 51, killed Mary Quinn with her own dressing gown cord in the flat they shared Emberton Court, Tompion Street, Clerkenwell.

Jurors found him not guilty of murder following an Old Bailey trial, but he was sentenced to eight years in jail having already admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Quinn, who had moved into the flat to care for his mother after she suffered a stroke in 2008, said he carried out the killing to “end her suffering” and had been battling depression at the time. He then left her on her bed for six weeks, sealing off the room with masking tape.

It was only when a parish priest became concerned that the police were called and her body was discovered on June 25 last year.

The court was told that Quinn, known to friends as Ray, was a heavy drinker but appeared to be a compassionate and caring son.

He was paid as his mother’s carer but had told his GP in March 2011 that he was struggling to cope and had thought about throwing himself off the balcony of the flat.

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The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont told Quinn: “You took the life of your mother in circumstances of considerable violence. That is apparent from the medical evidence. Just what you did only you know and you will carry the knowledge to your grave.

“Your mother, despite her infirmity was a proud woman who lived as best she could an independent life. You, by killing her have left a wider family devastated. You were her carer. You were paid to look after her. You breached the trust that you owed her.”