Barnsley gran ‘unrecognisable’ after horror killing at Cudworth home - court

Liam Naylor
Liam Naylor
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A grandma who was found dead with a carving knife embedded in her neck was covered in so much blood she was ‘unrecognisable’, a jury heard.

Doreen Walker, aged 75, was found on the living room floor of her home in Barnsley by shocked relatives and neighbours.


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Liam Naylor, aged 23, is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court but denies murdering the mum of three.

Jurors heard Naylor was close friends with Doreen’s granddaughter Keeley Sweeney, and the pair often stayed at Doreen’s home where they would play a game called ‘Mission Impossible’.

It involved them stealing money from the partially deaf OAP’s dressing gown pockets without being caught.

Prosecutor Simon Waley read a series of witness statements to the jury.

In one, neighbour Ronald Goulding described the moment worried relatives and neighbours broke into Doreen’s home and discovered her body.

“She had blood all over her head, her face and in her hair,” he said. “I couldn’t recognise her but I knew it was her.”

Mr Goulding said Doreen’s daughter Sharon was ‘screaming her head off’.

Doreen’s son-in-law Llewelyn Jones described climbing in through the front window of Doreen’s home in Birkwood Avenue, Cudworth.

He said: “I got down onto the floor. I immediately saw Doreen lying on her back on the floor in front of the gas fire. I could see there was knife sticking out of her neck.

“She appeared to be in some sort of state of undress.”

Jurors also heard from Brooklyn Smith, who was friends with both Naylor and Miss Sweeney.

She said she once slept the night at Doreen’s house and had met her a few times.

Miss Smith said Naylor and Keeley would play a game.

“Because Doreen was half deaf they ran around the house and pinched things from her. They would start at the top of the stairs, they went in her bedroom and in her dressing gown pockets and stuff, looking for money.”

Mr Waley asked if the game was about whether Doreen would notice what was going on.

Miss Smith replied: “Yes.”

The jury heard from shop worker Emma Foster, who wept as she recalled the last time she saw Doreen.

Mrs Foster said Doreen was ‘cheerful, laughing and giggling’ when she went to collect her pension from the Premier Store on Darfield Road the day before she was found dead.

She said Doreen, who had drawn her pension and later returned and bought treats for her cat, told her she’d had fallen out with Keeley.

The trial continues.