A WOMAN killed her grandmother by repeatedly hitting her with a garden spade.
Joanne Hussey, 33, claimed voices in her head told her to get rid of “bad people” before she bludgeoned her generous grandmother Annie Garbutt to death on May 7 last year.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court heard that Hussey then left her 76-year-old grandmother lying in two pools of blood.
Hussey, a mother of a disabled youngster, is accused of murdering vulnerable Mrs Garbutt, of The Clough, Mirfield. She denies the charge but has admitted the manslaughter of her grandmother on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Prosecutor James Goss QC said the murder was “brutal” and that Hussey had lied to police about the death.
He said Hussey, of Yeadon, near Leeds, carried out the murder because she was worried about the financial cost of caring for Mrs Garbutt, who suffered with Alzheimer and needed more care.
Mr Goss said Hussey sent a text message to a boyfriend seven days before the brutal murder saying her grandmother had died and she needed comforting.
Mr Goss said: “She appears to have been anticipating what was to happen.
“The message read: ‘Got to grandma’s earlier and found her dead. Police have been and she’s been taken away. Head totally done in. In need of a friend’.
“It was a macabre way of seeking attention.
“The defendant was very financially motivated.
“She would punish her [grandmother] by not visiting her if she refused to give money to her.”
On May 7 last year, Hussey told police that she had found her grandmother dead in the bedroom of her Mirfield home.
When paramedics arrived, they saw that Mrs Garbutt had sustained substantial facial wounds and lay in two pools of her own blood.
The walls around her bed were splattered with blood.
She had also suffered multiple lacerations and fractures to her face and body.
Evidence suggested the defendant sat or knelt on her grandmother’s chest during the attack as the frail pensioner attempted to defend herself.
During police questioning, Hussey told police she had killed her grandmother but claimed she suffered from a mental abnormality.
Mr Goss added: “In due course, the defendant admitted that she had in fact killed her grandmother in her bedroom by attacking her and using a spade.
“She told a doctor that she had been hearing voices in her head for about two weeks telling her to get rid of bad people.
“They had told her to get rid of grandma, so she had hit her on the head.
“The blows were hard ones because the voices told her to do it harder and harder. Then they told her to stop.”
But Hussey, a Royal Mail worker, was deemed to be “cheerful” and “logical” by a psychiatrist who said she had overcome a recent bout of depression.
Mrs Garbutt had been a widow since her husband Joseph died in 1996.
She owned her end terraced cottage and was considered wealthy enough to pay for her own care, which had been recommended by Kirklees Social Services staff who visited her daily.
But her granddaughter raised concerns about the financial cost with care workers.
One claimed she said: “It would be best if [she] just fell down the stairs.”
Hussey’s mother Maureen Hussey had been made power of attorney over her financial dealings a year before her death due to her declining mental health.
CCTV footage shows Hussey repeatedly driving from her Leeds home to Mrs Garbutt’s home during the early hours of May 7.
Evidence also suggested she cleaned her clothes of traces of blood after the attack.
Hussey had been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice after police discovered she had allegedly asked her mother, her friend and her brother to say she had told them about hearing voices.
The case continues.