A drug addict has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his stepdad after dramatically changing his plea midway through his trial.
Wayne Thornton murdered 79-year-old John Uttley as he slept in his bed in his Huddersfield home on June 28.
The 52-year-old, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, changed his plea to guilty of murder on the fourth day of his trial at Leeds Crown Court.
For a number of years Thornton, who was the subject of a court-imposed hospital order in 2001 with a restriction on taking controlled drugs, had accused his stepdad of sexually abusing him when he was seven years old.
But this summer he moved back in with his mum and stepdad in their home in Royds Avenue in Paddock.
He had only been living there for three weeks when he left his bedroom, went to the kitchen, took a hammer from a drawer and headed to Mr Uttley’s bedroom.
As Thornton later described it to police, he “smashed his skull in” with a hammer.
Mr Uttley, who had reduced mobility following a stroke, was sleeping alone while his wife Louise slept in her bedroom downstairs.
Thornton handed himself in to Huddersfield Police Station hours later, telling cops: “I murdered John Uttley because he has been a complete b**tard to me all my life.”
There were amphetamines and cannabis in his system.
Previously Thornton, who has previous convictions for rape and arson, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder.
When he changed his plea the jury had already heard evidence from Mrs Uttley, stepsister Khadine Uttley and brother Richard Thornton, who said his older brother had threatened him with kitchen knives six months before Mr Uttley was killed.
Reading the family’s victim impact statement, Richard Thornton said: “The phone call to say that Wayne had murdered our father will be with me forever.
“I was floored, shocked. I know that my family feel the same.
“A husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather who did not deserve to die.
“The last seven months have been hell for us, we are living a nightmare that we cannot step out of.”
He added that the family were most upset by the sexual abuse allegation and the thought of anyone believing it is ‘heartbreaking’.
The defendant, who had his eyes closed or stared at the floor during most of the trial, made several outbursts during the sentencing, at one point even interrupting his younger brother.
He shouted: “Just give me 50 f***ing years” and “God will be my witness.”
Sentencing him to life imprisonment with a minimum of 22 years, Mr Justice Males said: “Despite the mental disorder from which you suffer and the delusions which it causes you knew the nature of what you were doing when you decided to kill your stepfather.”
He added: “I take into account also that you suffer from a mental disorder.
“That is of relatively little weight in itself as its impact on your behaviour is largely caused by your abuse of drugs, but I accept that it may be that you have a genuine belief in the correctness of the allegations which you have made against your stepfather.
“Be that as it may, it is unnecessary for me to make any finding about these allegations, which in any event, even if they were true, could not excuse what you have done.”