Jury rejects ‘self defence’ claims of man who murdered grandma, 75

A FATHER of three has been found guilty of murdering a 75-year-old grandmother so he could steal her pension money of just £104.

Dorothy Walker. Below: Liam Naylor. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency

Liam Naylor, 23, throttled, beat and then stabbed Dorothy Walker to death more than 40 times in what was claimed to be a “savage, brutal and sustained attack” at her home in Barnsley, on April 1.

Naylor claimed he had acted in self defence and that 5ft 3in Mrs Walker, known as Dotty, threatened him with a knife after discovering he had stolen her money. But it took a jury at Sheffield Crown Court just two hours today to find him unanimously guilty of murder.

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The court heard Naylor was friends with Mrs Walker’s granddaughter Keeley Sweeney, with whom he’d had also had a relationship.

Liam Naylor

The pair were regular visitors to Mrs Walker’s home because she gave them food, money and cigarettes.

Simon Waley, prosecuting, told the court that Mrs Walker had collected her pension money on the morning of the murder, and told a shop worker she had fallen out with her 17-year-old granddaughter.

Naylor was seen on CCTV that evening, entering her home at 9.30pm, and emerging two hours later.

He said they had smoked cigarettes together and watched CSI on television, before eight-stone Mrs Walker attacked him - and then “jumped on to” her own knife.

Mrs Walker, who had three children and five grandchildren, suffered more than 40 “sharp force injuries” to her head, face, neck, arms and chest. The 20cm carving knife was left embedded in her neck.

One stab wound penetrated her heart while another sliced through a spinal bone. Her major arteries were severed.

Naylor, who agreed Mrs Walker was “kind and caring”, also broke the OAP’s nose - probably by punching her in the face - and twisted her right arm until it broke.

Then he washed himself and rifled through her jewellery box before returning to finish her off.

When he arrived home he was ‘covered in blood’ and ‘agitated’. He told Keeley and their friends Brook Smith and Matthew Potter he’d got into a fight with an unknown man.

But he changed his clothes, washed the blood from his body - and then the four went out drinking.

Brook and Matthew told the court that, on the way into Barnsley town centre, Naylor and Keeley Sweeney went to an underpass near the Alhambra Centre where they torched a carrier bag containing his blood-stained clothes.

Naylor, also of Barnsley, then treated the group to drinks in a bar, a McDonald’s takeaway and a taxi home.

He was arrested after Mrs Walker’s body was found the following day by her son-in-law.

It later emerged Naylor had sent a series of text messages to himself before the killing to create a cover story about borrowing money. During the attack Naylor cut his hand and police found his blood on the murder weapon and a back door handle.

Naylor will be sentenced on Friday.