Death – Woman stabbed mum to death during row before her body was found wrapped in plastic under the stairs, murder trial told

Death – Obituary

A woman stabbed her mum to death during a row before her body was found wrapped in plastic under the stairs, a murder trial has heard.

Beverley Scott was found dead in a cupboard at her home under bed covers and old curtains, Manchester Crown Court was told.

Her daughter, Cassandra Scott, 36, is accused of her murder. She denies the charge, claiming she acted in self-defence.

A trial opened today (Wednesday).

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Prosecuting, Peter Cadwallader QC told jurors police were called to Beverley’s home on Holker Close, Longsight, Manchester, on June 11 last year.

The 58-year-old mum-of-three was found with 10 stab wounds to her back, two of which penetrated through her chest cavity and the back of her heart, the court heard.

Jurors were told a housing officer made their way to the property after concerns were raised over Beverley’s welfare.

Police at the scene on Holker Close

Beverley, alleged to have used drugs including crack cocaine alongside her daughter Cassandra, was found dead under plastic sheets, bed covers and old curtains.

The housing officer reported a ‘strong smell of decomposition’, the court heard.

Beverley’s body could have been there for as many as 77 days, jurors were told.

Mr Cadwallader told the court Cassandra moved in with her mother in March 2021 after she split from her partner.

The jury heard Beverley and Cassandra would ‘take drugs together’.

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The exact date of Beverley’s death is not known, the court heard, but is likely to have been some time between March 25 and April 1, 2021.

Her body was found on July 11.

Mr Cadwallader said that when interviewed by police, the defendant accepted she was responsible for her mother’s death, but claimed she acted in self-defence during a row about her [Cassandra] wanting to get back with her ex-partner.

He told the court Cassandra said her ‘angry’ mum picked up a knife to attack her, before she disarmed her and stabbed her with the 21cm blade.

Manchester Crown Court, Manchester
Manchester Crown Court

Jurors heard it was for them to decide whether she intended to end her mother’s life – or cause grievous bodily harm.

The court heard Beverley had been engaging with a substance misuse service since March 2020 ‘in an attempt reduce her drug use’ and was given a prescription substitute for heroin, buprenorphine, which she picked up weekly.

This continued until March 25, after which she never returned to collect further prescriptions, jurors were told.

Mr Cadwallader told the jury: “There is evidence that family members and friends spoke to Beverley Scott around the time of her death, but the timing is less clear.

“However, the precise date does not matter. The issue is not when it happened, but what happened and most importantly the intention of the defendant.

“The defendant said she killed her mother at the end of March 2021.”

The prosecutor told the court Beverley was known for regularly walking her dog and that concerns grew when neighbours stopped seeing her.

A phone call appointment with her support worker a month later – on April 22 – went unanswered, despite several voicemails and texts, the court was told.

Holker Close

“There was increasing concern that she had not been seen,” Mr Cadwallader added.

The court was told that the following month, in May, Beverley’s daughter Cassandra told a neighbour her mother was in rehab.

She later told an acquaintance her mum had ‘passed away in hospital’, Mr Cadwallader said.

A housing officer from One Manchester visited the home with a joiner on June 11, jurors heard.

They managed to gain entry into the property, which ‘appeared deserted’, the court was told.

Speaking about the moment Beverley’s body was found, Mr Cadwallader said: “Initially, all she [the housing officer] saw was a pile of clothing, bedding and old curtains on top.

“She then noticed underneath plastic sheeting. It became apparent that there was a body covered by the plastic.

“There was a strong smell of decomposition.”

Beverley’s body weighed just over six stone, the court heard.

Manchester Crown Court

She had 10 stab wounds to her back – four in her upper back and neck area and six in the middle of her back – jurors were told as details of a post mortem were read to the court.

Two had pierced through into her chest cavity on her right side and penetrated so deeply it had gone through her right lung and into the back of her heart, the court heard.

“At least one stab must have been inflicted with a degree of force that would be described as severe,” Mr Cadwallader added.

“The cause of death was multiple stab wounds.”

The jury was told heavy blood deposits on the stairs and hallway floor meant Beverley could have been ‘dragged down the bottom three stairs and dragged over the hallway floor towards the cupboard’.

White paint and a rug placed at the bottom of the stairs placed there in an effort to disguise the scene, the prosecutor alleged.

Cassandra admitted to police that she caused her mother’s death, but claimed she acted self-defence, the court heard.

Mr Cadwallader said: “Her explanation was that they were both intoxicated having used crack cocaine. She said that she told her mother that she was thinking of reconciling with her partner.

“An argument ensued in the kitchen. She alleged that her mother became enraged at the thought of her daughter leaving and had picked up a knife and tried to stab her with it.

“She had never seen her mother that angry before.

“The defendant had disarmed her mother and stabbed her with it.

“She thought that she had stabbed her mother two or three times.”

The jury was told Cassandra admitted she did not call an ambulance and told no one about the incident because she panicked.

The Crown refutes her claims of self-defence as her mother had been unarmed.

“This was a persistent attack with all the stab wounds to the back,” Mr Cadwallader added.

Cassandra Scott, of Holker Close, Longsight, denies murder.


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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject's life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.