Man 'stabbed mother with ornamental sword before putting her head in freezer'

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·2 min read
The Central Criminal Court, also known as the Old Bailey, on Old Bailey, central London.
The Old Bailey heard Philip Tarver stabbed his mother before decapitating her, which the 47-year-old denies. (PA)

A man stabbed his elderly mother with an ornamental sword before decapitating her and putting her head in a freezer, a court has been told.

Philip Tarver, 47, is alleged to have attacked 86-year-old Angela Tarver at their family home in Woking, Surrey, in December 2019, and then cut her head off as police made their way to the address.

Tarver, who the court heard also threatened to kill his 83-year-old father Colin, is accused of amputating her left ring finger and placing it in a kettle as well as “placing her head into the freezer in the kitchen”, Alexandra Healy QC, prosecuting, said.

Tarver, who lived with his parents all of his life, denies murdering his mother and making a threat to kill his father.

The court heard that when armed police arrived, Tarver, wearing a floral woman’s nightie, came to the front door waving a Union flag and holding a knife, saying “I surrender”.

Tarver, who bought beer and vodka the night before, spent the morning of 19 December telling his father they had been “poisoned” and, claiming he was “spring cleaning”, unplugged the phone and a computer, the court heard.

When Colin asked why the television was disconnected, jurors were told Tarver slammed a door and told him to “go and die”.

The Old Bailey was told that Colin heard a scream while he was reconnecting leads, and ran into the kitchen to find his wife lying on her back and Tarver holding a sword, who then said: “I am going to kill you.”

The prosecutor said he had been told to do it by a “supreme commander” or “supreme leader”, and Colin grappled the sword out of his son’s hands and went to call the police.

Officers found Angela’s head in a freezer compartment and her ring finger was inside a kettle, placed on top of an Angry Birds box next to the body, jurors heard.

After being arrested, Tarver heard his father was being talked to by police and allegedly said: “Oh, of course, his wife. His wife is in the freezer.”

The court heard he apologised “for killing her” and said he “must repent my sins”.

The trial continues.