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Grandmother murder accused 'had £35k gambling debts'

By Marion Brennan | Walsall | Crime | Published:

A man accused of stabbing his grandmother to death had racked up £35,000 gambling debts and often took cocaine, a jury heard.

Anne James

As a result Gregory Irvin, 26, regularly borrowed money from his girlfriend, his parents and his 74-year-old grandmother Anne James, who was found at her Walsall home with more than 30 stab wounds and her throat slit.

It is alleged that Irvin, of Bilboe Road, Bilston, carried out the savage deed during a 15-minute visit to the house in Doveridge Place on February 28.

He is accused of stabbing his grandmother more than 30 times before driving off with the murder weapon, a security camera and her mobile phone.

Ms Rachel Brand, QC, prosecuting, suggested his large gambling debt may have been a reason for the murder.

He had been paying off the money in installments under an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) but was not working at the time.

She told Birmingham Crown Court that Irvin was on the autistic spectrum and that it would be claimed his ability to form rational judgement and exercise self control was affected by his condition.

A psychiatrist for the defence will raise the possibility that Irvin had suffered ‘an intense, violent, autistic meltdown’ said Ms Brand.

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However, the prosecution will argue that it does not provide an explanation.

The trial was also told yesterday that Irvin returned to the scene of his crime with other family members hours after.

The opening day of the murder trial heard how 26-year-old Irvin’s blue Mini was captured turning into his grandmother’s road, Doveridge Place, on CCTV cameras earlier on the day she was killed and leaving again just 15 minutes later.

But when questioned by police that evening he claimed he had not seen her, the jury was told.

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The court also heard Irvin met at the house with his live-in girlfriend Shauna Wilson, parents Mark and Jayne Irvin and his brother Matthew at around 6pm after the murder was discovered.

He was captured on a police officer’s bodycam saying he had spoken to his grandmother on the phone that morning, showing police evidence on his mobile phone, but had not visited the house.

But when forensics officers examined the property they found no signs of a forced entry a struggle or a murder weapon, suggesting that her killer was known to her.

Irvin denies murder.

The trial continues.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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