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Teenager guilty of stabbing his mother to death at Weymouth home

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

Leah Whittle was stabbed to death by her son, 17-year-old Kieren Smith

A 17-year-old has been found guilty of the murder of his mother, whom he stabbed to death after losing his temper.

Kieren Smith killed 42-year-old Leah Whittle at her home in Benville Road, Weymouth, Dorset, on July 21, the reason for which “would never be known”.

Smith will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court today.

Following the conviction, Detective Inspector Marcus Hester, of Dorset Police, said: “This case involved a particularly horrific and sustained attack on a woman who was unable to defend herself.

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“This is a very tragic case where a young man, through his own violent actions, has killed his mother.

“He now has to face the consequences of these actions as well as to live with the loss of his mother.

“Our sympathy is with Leah Whittle’s family and friends who are still coming to terms with their loss.”

The trial heard that Smith repeatedly attacked his mother in their flat.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the defendant, 16 at the time, had an interest in knives and a temper but the reason for the murder would never be known.

Smith had denied the killing and said that men came down from Doncaster in Yorkshire to execute his mother over a drug debt of his brother’s.

He told friends and the police that he had seen the man or men attack his mother through a bathroom door and when they had left he had bolted the door, taken some money from his mother’s purse and fled.

Mr Smith said the defendant had spoken to a girlfriend in the hours before his mother was murdered to say she only had a couple of days to live because of the debt.

But Mr Smith alleged that this was just “setting a scene” and that the teenager had either formed a murderous intent or the bravado of the conversation had spurred him on to commit murder.

He eventually went to a friend’s house with his mother’s blood on his face and on his socks, the court heard.

He said to friends he had disposed of a knife near to the flat but no weapon was ever found, the court heard.

Unemployed Ms Whittle had moved back to Dorset after living in Yorkshire until her marriage had broken down.

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