A FORMER soldier from Sheffield butchered his mother with a knife in a ‘brutal and bizarre’ killing - carving a cross into her chest and inflicting 80 separate injuries in a fit of psychotic rage.
Scott Hobson, aged 32, has been detained indefinitely in a secure mental hospital for the manslaughter of 59-year-old Margaret Hobson at the family home on Lister Road, Walkley.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Margaret was found dead by a horrified neighbour having suffered a catalogue of sickening injuries.
The out-of-work cannabis addict also dismembered parts of his mum’s body and sliced a cross into her chest - actions a psychiatrist said were the result of ‘tortured psychotic thinking’.
Hobson was later seen in the street by passers-by with blood-covered clothes, mumbling and staring vacantly.
He was deemed unfit for questioning by the police.
The killer served in Kosovo with the Territorial Army, had suffered previous depressive episodes and drank heavily.
The court heard Hobson, who has a three-year-old daughter, was also a ‘longstanding user’ of cannabis, which may have contributed to his schizophrenia.
Judge Roger Keen QC ordered that Hobson should be treated indefinitely at Wathwood Hospital, Wath-upon-Dearne - and should only be released with the Home Secretary’s permission.
“You killed and butchered your mother in the most dreadful and grotesque way,” Judge Keen told Hobson, who appeared in the dock wearing a grey suit and flanked by hospital staff. “This is a terrible family tragedy. I’m satisfied you’re suffering from a mental disorder which is capable of medical treatment.”
The judge said there was a ‘clear risk’ of Hobson committing more offences.
Peter Moulson QC, prosecuting, said Hobson lived with Margaret and his dad, Michael, at Lister Road. His parents had been married for 36 years.
Two weeks before her death on May 18, Margaret had completed a course of chemotherapy for cancer, and was awaiting a scan to assess the treatment’s results.
Mr Moulson said Hobson’s mental condition worsened in the months before the killing, and patrons in a local pub noticed him ‘laughing manically to himself for no apparent reason’ on May 16.
The next morning he also began ‘swearing, shouting and crying uncontrollably’ when he took his daughter Eva to her playgroup.
Mr Moulson said: “In the early morning on the day of the killing, Hobson had been behaving strangely and his father anticipated a measure of aggression from him.
“Hobson was talking about people coming back to life.”
Michael left the house for work to ‘diffuse the situation’ at 4.20am, and Margaret then called NHS Direct.
“Obviously she was concerned about the condition of her son,” Mr Moulson said.
“It may well have been at the conclusion of that telephone call that Mrs Hobson was then subjected to the attack which killed her.”
Margaret was found dead just after 7am, lying across the entrance to the back door. Hobson had wielded a knife with a 12cm blade.
When Hobson was arrested by police at the scene he said: “You know I didn’t mean it.”
In a report, psychiatrist Dr John Kent said: “This was a brutal and bizarre killing, with features which cannot easily be explained other than they are likely to have formed part of some tortured psychotic thinking.”
Dr Kent said Hobson had ‘relapsing severe mental illness’ which ‘may have links to the misuse of illegal drugs’.
Hobson, who had no previous convictions, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.