Son Murdered Parents And Dumped Bodies 150 Miles Away, Court Told

A “domineering” son murdered his elderly parents before cramming their bodies into their Nissan Micra car and dumping them 150 miles away, a jury has been told.

Timothy Crook, 51, is accused of killing his father Robert, 83, and mother Elsie, 76, at their home in Swindon, Wiltshire, in July 2007.

He is alleged to have murdered the couple in the bedroom of their home by strangling, kicking, punching and stamping on them as well as hitting them with a weapon, believed to be a hammer.

Crook is then said to have put their bodies in the back of their Nissan Micra before driving them to a property he owned in Lincoln.

Friends reported the couple missing four days later when they failed to attend a dance class at their church. Police attended Crook’s house in Lincoln and discovered the bodies lying under wheelie bins in the overgrown back garden.

Crook was arrested but was found to be unfit to stand trial due to mental health problems, which had since improved, the court heard. He now denies murder.

Bristol crown court heard that the “difficult” relationship between Crook and his parents, whom he lived with after losing a civilian job with the Ministry of Defence, had deteriorated.

Andrew Langdon QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “Exactly eight years ago, Timothy Crook’s elderly parents were killed in a brutal attack. They suffered repeated blows to their bodies and heads, some of which were delivered by a weapon, probably a hammer.

“Each of them were also strangled, probably with a belt. They lived with their son, the defendant Timothy Crook, in Swindon. Their bodies were dumped in an overgrown back garden at his house in Lincoln. He was arrested within a few days of their deaths.”

Langdon said Crook had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and had been under the care of doctors since the murders.

“In more recent times, his condition has improved so that he is now able to comprehend the case against him, instruct his lawyers and so advance his defence in court,” Langdon added.

The court heard that Crookwas sectioned in 2002 and was under the supervision of mental health services in Lincolnshire, but refused to register with a doctor when he moved back in with his parents in Swindon.

Robert and Elsie Crook Robert and Elsie Crook, who were allegedly murdered by their son Timothy. Photograph: Wiltshire police

His sister, Janice Lawrence, described how Crook “domineered the home” and banned his parents from having any visitors. “They told her how domineering he was and how frightened they were of him,” Langdon said. “A week prior to their deaths her parents visited and they told her things had been getting really, really bad.

“Tim said he was going to evict them, he didn’t want them there. He would stand over them, dominating them, swearing at them, threatening them.”

The couple were last seen alive on the morning on 7 July, believed to be the date of their deaths, reversing their car out of their drive. Crook is alleged to have attacked them that afternoon.

The Nissan Micra was dumped a short walk from Newark train station on 8 July, where Crook was seen on CCTV catching a train to London. He caught another train back to Swindon, where it is claimed he attempted to clean up any evidence of the murders and dispose of bloodied items of clothing in bin bags.

Wiltshire police attended the Swindon property on 11 July, and Crook said the couple were in Lincoln. An officer in Lincolnshire discovered the bodies at 6.20pm that day. The car was discovered later, with blood staining in the back and on a door handle.

A postmortem examination found both Robert and Elsie Crook died as a result of strangulation with a belt. Elsie Crook had 24 fresh injuries from “blows, punches, kicks and stamps” and bruises from an oval-shaped weapon. Robert Crook’s body had similar bruising but he had not suffered from head injuries as severe as his wife’s.

Nigel Pascoe QC, representing Crook, said: “The case for the defendant is: ‘I did not kill either of my parents.’”

The trial continues, and is expected to last for three weeks.

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