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.
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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.