Leigh man gets suspended sentence for killing his terminally ill mother at Westcliff care home

A man has received a suspended prison sentence after killing his terminally ill mother by throwing her off a fire escape at a care home in Westcliff.

Robert Knight, 53, of The Fairway, Leigh-on-Sea, appeared at Basildon Crown Court today, Friday 20 September, where he received 24 months in prison, suspended for 24 months, for manslaughter.

He was previously found not guilty of murder on Friday August 2, following a trial at Basildon Crown Court, after initially admitting to manslaughter.

He has been given a requirement to work with Probation Services for 60 days.

Knight’s mother, June Knight, 79, was receiving end of life care at Langley Lodge Care Home in Imperial Avenue, Westcliff.

On Monday, December 10, 2018, Robert Knight, who was a frequent visitor at the home, signed in to visit his mother at around 9.45pm.

He then lifted his mother out of bed, placed her on a fire escape railing and dropped her to the ground below, killing her.

Staff were alerted to the incident when alarms sounded on the fire door. They responded and found June outside in a courtyard.

RoKnight remained inside the care home until police arrived.

The entire incident was caught on the care home’s internal and external CCTV cameras.

Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten, of the Serious Crime Directorate, said: “June Knight was receiving end of life care before she was killed by her only child, Robert Knight.

“He had regularly visited his mother and there were no signs that this horrific incident would take place.

“The jury carefully considered the facts of the case and agreed that Knight suffered a loss of control when he took his mother’s life.

“The care-home staff and the attending police officers were faced with a horrific scene and I would like to thank them for their efforts to save June Knight.

“I would also like to thank the care home for their assistance during our investigation and I hope the staff and residents are able to move forward with their lives.

“June Knight’s death has been a particularly harrowing case.

“I do not doubt that Robert Knight loved his mother deeply, but his actions were deplorable and they have affected many, many people.

“My thoughts are with June and the care home staff, police and ambulance teams that tried to save her and will still have to deal with what they saw.

“Robert Knight will now need to live with his actions for the rest of his life.”

Police did not release a custody photo of Knight as they have a policy of only releasing such images for custodial sentences.

This is something the YA has challenged repeatedly over the years, but to no avail.

Mick Ferris

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