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Daughter of man accused of murdering grandson 'warned of behaviour'

Published 17/11/2015

Lincoln Crown Court heard how Stewart Greene killed Alex Robinson two days before Christmas
Lincoln Crown Court heard how Stewart Greene killed Alex Robinson two days before Christmas

The mother of a nine-year-old boy allegedly drowned in the bath by his grandfather has told a jury how she warned her father would "do something to get himself put in somewhere".

Joanne Greene, 38, was giving evidence at the trial of Stewart Greene, who is accused of murdering his grandson Alex Robinson two days before Christmas last year.

Ms Greene was in tears in the witness box at Lincoln Crown Court as she watched herself on a police video describe her desperate attempts to revive her son.

On the recording, watched by the jury, she explained how she returned to her home in Pennell Street, Lincoln, after buying the Christmas turkey at Tesco.

She said her father, now 65, calmly told her: "I've drowned Alex in the bath."

Ms Greene told the police officer interviewing her how she did not believe him at first but then desperately began looking for her son before finding him in the bath.

The jury watched as Ms Greene became deeply upset on the video as she tried to explain to the officer the scene in her bathroom.

She watched herself from the witness box, visibly upset.

Giving live evidence in court, Ms Greene then described how her father had a history of depression-type illness and had been admitted to a mental health unit earlier in the year.

She explained how, a month before Alex's death, she had pleaded with staff at a unit not to let him out.

She said this was because he did not like living independently, outside of residential centres, and had attacked people before, including trying to strangle a doctor, in attempts to stay as an inpatient.

Asked what she told the staff, she said: "If you let him out he's going to do something.

"He's done it before. He's attacked a doctor. He's had a knife to an old woman."

She said: "He will do something to get himself put in somewhere.

"I'm telling you now, if he does something I'm going to go ballistic. You can't let him out."

Michael Evans QC, prosecuting, said the record of the conversation noted that she was worried her father would "up the ante", but she said could not remember using that phrase.

Greene, of Danes Court, Grimoldby, Lincolnshire, denies one count of murder.

Opening the prosecution case earlier, Mr Evans told the jury how Greene sat calmly, rolling a cigarette, until his family returned home after killing Alex.

He said the defendant was left alone with the youngster, who was on the autistic spectrum and had been playing on his Xbox when his mother left to go shopping with her mother Andrea, Greene's ex-wife.

The prosecutor said Greene sat calmly in the lounge as frantic efforts were made to save the boy.

He told the first police officer to arrive he had drowned Alex and was arrested, the court heard. H e later said at the police station: "I can't do prison. Am I going to hospital?"

Mr Evans said it was the prosecution case that Greene ran the bath and the murder was pre-planned. He said the bath was the last place Alex would have gone willingly because one of his autistic tendencies was that he very wary of water.

The prosecutor said Alex, who was 4ft 6in and weighed 4st 12lb, had a strict washing routine and would never lie in the bath, insisting on standing as he bathed. He even hated water on his face.

Mr Evans said: "The defendant forcibly drowned Alex in the bath."

He added: "His intention was clear and he did so in the most brutal way."

The prosecutor described how the defendant had had mental health problems since the 1990s. But he said that after the incident in September last year, when he attacked the female doctor, he was thoroughly assessed but no evidence of an acute mental illness was found.

Mr Evans said Greene had wanted to stay with his daughter after his various discharges from mental health units but she had always told him she could not cope and refused his requests.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow.

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