Murder trial day four: Ex detective John Green tells court derogatory texts about his 88-year-old mum were "the only outlet I had to vent"

A former police officer accused of murdering his elderly mother broke down as he told jurors she had been suicidal after his father's death.

John Green, 66, denies smothering 88-year-old Bernadette Green to death at the terraced home they shared in Inkerman Street and is giving evidence at his trial at Preston Crown Court.

Inkerman Street

Inkerman Street

It is alleged the 4ft 9in pensioner was found in an emaciated and neglected state, with necrosis - rotting blackened skin - and in her own faeces.

Her death was referred to the coroner because she had not seen a doctor since October 2013, and a post mortem examination revealed tiny haemorrhages and other injuries that prosecutors say indicate she was smothered.

Before her death on May 18 this year, the father-of-two, who retired from Lancashire Police in 1992, had texted his daughter referring to his mother as a "stinking corpse".

Green cried as he told jurors his dad had been in a nursing home on Riversway for three years after suffering a series of small strokes, before suffering a massive stroke that left him quadraplegic. He died in August 2011 - two years after Green had moved back in with his mother at the family home following his separation.

Crown Court

Crown Court

He said: " After my dad died she started talking silly, talking about suicide. At one I tricked her - I pushed her to the doctor's surgery.

"As of then she was prescribed anti depressants."

The court heard the last time she had attended a doctor's surgery was 2013 - and the defendant said she had refused to go.

He said: "In terms of treatment there was other contact. They asked her to attend surgery to get her blood pressure checked.

"She was stubborn - she just wouldn't go.

Asked about her mobility he said: "She was deteriorating very slowly, you could see it - she was losing weight, her mobility was getting much worse.

"She was struggling to move, trying to get one foot in front of the other, her knees were seizing up.

Asked what medication she had he replied: "None. She wouldn't go to hospital, she wouldn't go to the doctors. I courted the idea of cortisone injections but no."

Defending, Michael Hayton QC then quizzed him about his relationship with his mother.

He said: "You're spending a huge amount of time with her in the house and putting it bluntly you've got huge challenges to meet when dealing with her?"

Green replied: "You just do it, you get on with it."

Mr Hayton added: "We've seen messages between you and your daughter in relation to your mum. Putting it shortly some of those messages are pretty derogatory about your mum - what can you say about those?

Green told jurors: " I was in a very difficult situation. I had to be mindful how I spoke to her, she was an old lady, very delicate.

"But when you see your mother in that state and it's every day and it's getting worse and worse and worse, and you have to stay in control, trying to make her happy - you just press on.

"If I was in a social circle I might have a rant, or stamp my feet. But I couldn't do that.

" The only outlet I had to vent was texting her. That helped get the pressure of me. My only way of dealing with it was to use words. Harsh words yes, but that's all I had."

Green broke down again, sobbing: "It's just horrible" when explaining the pensioner's difficulties with personal hygiene and toileting to the court.

(proceeding)

For day one read here
For day two read here
For yesterday's coverage click here.