Head of woman found in plastic bag 'after daughter chopped up her body'

Head of woman found in plastic bag 'after daughter chopped up her body'

A woman stabbed to death her mother, chopped up her corpse and disposed of the body parts including the head in bin liners dumped next to a river just hours after trying to kill her brother in a fire, a court heard today.

Lucy Fox, 39, is accused of killing her mother Judy Fox, 65, a retired nurse, in the kitchen of her home in Shifnal, Shropshire, during a frenzied attack on June 12 last year.

She then used her mother's bank card in Asda to buy a ready meal, whisky, and bin liners - which she later used to dispose of her mother's body parts, jurors were told.

A court heard Fox dismembered the body before she dumped the remains in the undergrowth in woodland close to the River Severn and Ironbridge Gorge in Coalport. Judy Fox's torso and arms have still not been found.

Police officers discovered Mrs Fox's severed head in a plastic bag four weeks later on July 10 before finding other body parts scattered around the area in several bin liners.

Judy Fox was stabbed to death in the kitchen of her home in Shifnal last summer (pictured after the attack)

Fox was charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life after admitting the crimes when she was arrested - but Stafford Crown Court was told she was unfit to be tried on Monday.

There will now be no trial and it will now be a fact-finding hearing, where the jury will only have to decide what the person did but not the motive or their state of mind at the time.

As a result Fox now cannot be found guilty of murder and arson - but after the jury's verdict the judge could decide that the suspect should go to a hospital indefinitely in a judgment known as a disposal.

Judge Kristina Montgomery QC told the court jurors would now be asked to decide if they could be sure that Fox killed her mother.

Opening the case, prosecutor Kevin Hegarty QC said Fox had bought two knives from a Dunelm store before driving to her mother's home where she stabbed her.

She later set fire to a door mat in an attempt to kill her brother and confessed to both crimes when she was arrested, the jury was told.

Police were called to the property after a fire broke out but there was no sign of Mrs Fox who worked as a staff nurse for local newspapers the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

But the court heard the kitchen was covered in blood, with splatters over the ceiling, walls, cupboard drawers and back door prompting a police search for the homeowner.

The court heard a lump hammer, saw and an axe were discovered nearby as well as two knives.

Mr Hegarty added: 'Where was she? Only Lucy Fox knew. The prosecution will ask you to conclude that Lucy Fox killed her mother, no one saw Judy Fox again.

'The police continued searching and they searched an area along the River Severn and the first remains were found at around 10.30am on July 10.

'The search continued throughout that day and the days following. The discoveries that were made were all in the same area.

'Hidden in the undergrowth was a bag that contained Judith Fox's severed head.

'The area was subject to very careful search - shoulders, two legs and some fragments of skin and the right breast were found.

'These were examined by a forensic pathologist, he found the segments of the breast and shoulder showed the presence of stab wounds.

'The stab injuries might have been caused when Judith Fox was attacked but they might have also been caused when Judith Fox was being dismembered.

'But I will ask you to bear in mind that Lucy Fox was armed with a knife, she killed her mother.

'She must have killed her mother by stabbing her. There was no other purpose for having the knife.

'When she went into the house, she was armed with at least one knife and was ready to stab her mother.

'As of today the torso and arms are still missing. The parts that were recovered showed varying levels of decay and had been lost to decomposition.

'So in the absence of much of her body, the job of the forensic pathologist in giving a cause of the death was made all the more difficult. He cannot give a cause of death.

'Nevertheless, the recovered head is identified to be that of Judith Fox by examination of dental records.

'So we say the evidence shows that Lucy Fox killed her mother.

'She entered the house carrying at least one knife and killed her mother in the kitchen.

'The amount of blood in the kitchen compared with absence in other parts of the house shows that is where she was killed.

'She was then cut up and then disposed of.

'The evidence will show also that before Lucy Fox arrived she had visited Coalport and was in vicinity of where her mother's body was found.

'She revisited Coalport at 4am on Saturday, so the question is why did she go out from her mother's house and go to the area where her mother's remains were found.

'The answer is Lucy Fox had decided where she was going to take her mother and made her trip. After she killed her mother that is where she took her.

'She told the police on the doorstep she had killed her mother and she told police she had tried to kill her brother and there is evidence that she set fire to a door mat in the early hours of Sunday.'

The case continues.