Barnsley pensioner stabbed to death had carving knife embedded in her neck

Murder victim Doreen Walker
Murder victim Doreen Walker
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A pensioner found dead with a carving knife embedded in her neck was beaten, strangled, stabbed and slashed, by her granddaughter’s friend, a court heard.

Doreen Walker, aged 75, suffered over 40 stab and slash wounds to her head, face, neck, arms and chest, after she was allegedly attacked by Liam Aaron Naylor, aged 23, at her home in Cudworth, Barnsley.

The mum-of-three was stabbed through the spine with ‘severe force’ - another blow penetrated her heart.

Sheffield Crown Court heard she was discovered by her son-in-law at her home in Birkwood Avenue, Cudworth, on April 2.

Simon Waley, prosecuting, said: “He found Doreen lying dead on the floor of the living room. 
“She was lying on her back in her night clothes with multiple stab wounds mainly in her head, neck and chest.

“A large knife was still embedded in her neck.”

Naylor, of Junction Street, Barnsley, who denies murder, was friends with Doreen’s granddaughter Keeley Sweeney and they were regular visitors to her home.

Keeley had a ‘close relationship’ with her grandma and had lived with her on and off for two years.

On April 1, the day before she was found, Doreen drew her pension at a local store.

She told staff she and Keeley had fallen out, before leaving with £104.

Mr Waley said Naylor, who needed money to pay for a night out, was later seen on CCTV arriving at Doreen’s house at 9.30pm and leaving at 11.20pm.

“What the prosecution say is that between the defendant arriving and leaving, he killed Doreen Walker,” said Mr Waley.

When arrested Naylor told police he’d not seen Mrs Walker on April 1 but later changed his story and admitted killing her in self defence.

Mr Waley said: “The story he is expected to give you is ludicrous and utterly incredible and can be rejected out of hand.

“Any suggestion of self defence in this case is a nonsense. It’s a suggestion put forward in desperation to avoid a conviction for murder.”

The trial continues.