Murder victim Anne James 'had given £1,000 to grandson who killed her'

By Marion Brennan | Walsall | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A murder victim allegedly stabbed to death by her grandson had helped to pay off his gambling debts, a murder trial heard.

Anne James died aged 74 after being stabbed 30 times at her home in Walsall

Anne James paid off a £1,000 gambling debt for Gregory Irvin the year before he stabbed her more than 30 times, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

Jayne Irvin, the mother of the defendant and daughter of the victim, said she told her mother 'on no account' to give her son any more cash.

Mrs Irvin, who was not well enough to attend court, described her mother in a statement read to the jury, as someone who was 'kind and generous, who never saw the bad in anybody.'

She said her mother 'loved Greg' and would help him out with money, including last year paying off the £1,000 debt.

Earlier the court heard that Irvin owed £35,000 to banks and credit card companies, which he was paying off in monthly instalments.

In the statement read out by Miss Rachel Brand QC, prosecuting, Mrs Irvin said her younger son had become 'really difficult to be around' since he had left school.

A police officer holds flowers outside the house where Mrs James died


The defendant, who was diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum and was taking medication for anxiety issues, 'had a way of intimidating you' said Mrs Irvin, adding she was 'relieved' when he moved out of the family home in Walsall Wood to live with his girlfriend in Bilston.

She revealed that she, too, had started to to suffer with anxiety and attended regular counselling sessions. "All I ever talk about is Greg," she told police.

'No emotion'

Meanwhile paramedics told the second day of the trial that Irvin had appeared ‘calm’ after he was told of his grandmother's death.


Irvin went to his grandmother’s home in Doveridge Place, off Sandwell Street, with other family members after being told she had been found collapsed in the pantry of her home.

On arrival they were told she was dead and the circumstances were suspicious.

But minutes later, Irvin approached paramedic Rebecca Kinsey and asked whether he could go inside and check whether his grandmother was 'okay'.

Asked if he understood that his grandmother was dead, he sighed, replying: 'Nobody told me,' the jury heard.

Ms Kinsey told police: "There was no emotion as you would have expected. There was no grief and he seemed nervous."

Another paramedic described him as 'calm'. She added: "He didn't appear upset."

The prosecution alleges the 26-year-old, of Bilboe Road, Bilston, was at the house hours earlier on February 28 when he stabbed his grandmother to death, before making off with the weapon.

Irvin denies murder.

The trial continues.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan

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

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