A 31-year-old man has admitted killing his own grandmother after he hit her over the head with a vase inside her home. Victim Phyllis Nelson, 76, had been pronounced dead at the scene at her home on Kent Street, Plaistow, after paramedics were unable to save her life.
Appearing today (Monday, February 21) at the Old Bailey, grandson Donovan Miller, of Newham, denied the charge of murder, but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He also pleaded guilty to the act of sexually penetrating a corpse through the anus.
In a previous hearing, his gran’s killing was described as having involved “extreme violence”. Emergency services had been called to her property shortly before 10.30pm on March 29, 2021, where they found the pensioner in her bedroom with a head injury after being hit with a vase. Miller was arrested at the scene and charged with her murder.
READ MORE: Man, 52, charged with murder after police discover body in West London flat
(Image: Charlie L Jones)
A number of neighbours paid tribute to her as a “lovely” woman, who had been a perfect neighbour. One woman, Emma Martin, who had moved into the block of flats next to Phyllis four years ago had said: “[Phyllis] was a bit of a matriarch.
“We try and look out for each other in this block. I’ve spoken to one other neighbour and we’re reeling. I had some ill health a while ago and when I moved back, she [Phyllis] was straight around here wanting to check I’m okay. She was always telling me off for not looking after the garden and so I’ve been really making an effort over the last few weeks. When we’re out in the garden together, I’m like ‘see I’m putting plans in and making it nice’. She was just lovely.”
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It was said that she had been heavily involved in the local community, and was a renowned church singer who had only recently recovered from a bad bout of Covid-19. Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said the pleas were acceptable in light of the conclusions of three psychiatrists.
Judge Leonard QC remanded Miller into custody, where he will now face sentencing on March 28.
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