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Mum admits killing son, 7, but pleads not guilty to murder by reason of insanity

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A mum has admitted killing her seven-year-old son but pleaded not guilty to his murder by reason of insanity.

Christina Acres, 37, accepts that she killed George at the family home in Rochford, Essex on 23 July, last year, Basildon Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Mrs Acres strangled George then drowned him in the bath, the court heard. He died in hospital.

Date: January 15 2019 Location: Rochford, Essex, England. A woman is due to appear in court accused of murdering her son. Christina Acres will appear before Basildon Crown Court acused of the murder of her seven-year-old son, George Acres in July last year at her home in Rochford, Essex. Pictured: Police outside Christina Acres' house. Words: Essex News and Pictures.
Christina Acres admits killing her son at their family home in Rochford, Essex (Picture: Eastnews Press Agency)

Judge Mrs Justice Christina Lambert, addressing jurors at the start of the trial, said: ‘The defendant, Christina Acres, is charged with the murder of her son George, a little boy. It took place in July of last year.

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‘Mrs Christina Acres does not dispute that she killed him but the question you are going to have to decide at the end of the evidence is whether or not she’s not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.

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‘If you decide that you are not satisfied that she’s not guilty by reason of insanity you must then go on to decide whether she’s not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

A general view of Basildon Crown Court in Basildon, Essex.
A jury at Basildon Crown Court has been asked to decide if Mrs Acres was insane at the time she killed George (Picture: PA)

‘All of the facts surrounding the killing are not in dispute – they are agreed.’

She said that two expert psychiatrists ‘appear to agree that Christina Acres is not guilty of murder by reason of insanity’, but told jurors: ‘Only a jury can return a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity’.

Acres appeared calm in the court’s secure dock, where she was flanked by two staff in NHS uniforms and a dock officer.

The trial, estimated to last four to five days, continues.

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