Colne murder trial begins

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A COURT has heard claims that an elderly woman in Colne was murdered by an attack in her home, carried out by her granddaughter’s partner.

Eighty years old Constance French - who was known as Connie - was video interviewed by police at her hospital bedside, where she wrote the name “George” down on paper around 12 days days before her death.

Footage of that interview has been played at Preston Crown Court this week where 25-year-old George Portsmouth, formerly of Varley Street, Colne, denies her murder in April of last year.

The court has heard that in the early hours of March 27th last year her alarm pendant was activated. Carers went on to find her lying in the front room floor of her address on North Street, Colne.

She had injuries including one to her neck and money was missing.

Following her admission to Bradford Royal Infirmary Mrs French was video interviewed by police. During the video played in court, Mrs French nodded her head to police questions and wrote the word

“George” and mouthed the word “Portsmouth” to officers. She indicated that a pillow had been placed on her neck and face.

She also wrote the word “money” on a sheet of paper.

Miss Kate Blackwell (prosecuting) said some money and the alarm pendant had gone missing from the home at the time she was found.

The prosecution say a spot of the defendant’s blood was found on the surface of a pillow case at the address. The Crown claim it was left there when he put the pillow over her head to try and smother her.

Blood staining and saliva was found on the opposite side of the pillow and a DNA profile matched that of Mrs French.

She died on April 13th and Portsmouth had earlier been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder while going to visit her at hospital on March 31st.

He denies murder and the trial is expected to last around two weeks.