Cane sobbed uncontrollably, admitting he strangled mum

PUBLISHED: 16:23 19 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:23 19 July 2013

Lindea Sheard, 63, was found dead at her home in Exmouth.

Lindea Sheard, 63, was found dead at her home in Exmouth.


Andrew Cane sobbed uncontrollably when he admitted to police he strangled his mum with his belt in an argument over his drug taking.

A murder trial jury have been played a tape of a son sobbing uncontrollably as he told police how he strangled his mother with a designer belt.

Andrew Cane became so distressed when he told detectives about the killing they had to suspend their interview to allow him to compose himself.

Roofer Cane told them he had no intention of killing his mother and could not remember how the canvas Quiksilver belt came to be pulled tight around her neck.

He said he thought his mother Linda Sheard was still alive when he left her face down on her bedroom floor and was horrified to find her dead the next morning.

Cane, aged 31, of Victoria Road, Exmouth, has admitted the manslaughter of his mother but denies murdering her at the home they were sharing temporarily in Port Mer Close, Exmouth, a year ago.

The prosecution say he strangled her from behind with a belt during an argument after she learned he had taken cocaine at the house.

They say he took her purse and used her bank cards to take out £200 which he spent on an all night drugs binge before returning to the house where he took her car and went on the run.

The jury at Exeter Crown Court have been read long extracts from a series of extracts of police interviews and have heard digital recordings of the most crucial sections.

Cane said both he and his mother had gone to bed on the night of the killing on July 10 last year but he was disturbed by sounds from the garden which he thought may be an intruder.

He armed himself with the light coloured canvas belt, which had been given to him by his sister, and went to investigate, but returned to find that his mother had come out of her bedroom, looked into his, and seen a wrap of cocaine which he had just taken.

Cane told police that a violent argument started in which his mother shouted at him.

He said: “She told me she could not believe I had done this to her again. She told me she had trusted me. She had always said if I took drugs in her house that would be it.

“I wanted to walk away but she pulled me back. I was not angry with her. I was angry with myself I had let her down.”

He told officers she pulled him back and slapped him and he wheeled her round as he tried to get away, knocking her to the floor of her bedroom.

He said he still had the belt in his hands but could not remember exactly how it got around her neck.

The jury were played an extract of tape in which he said: “I told her to get off. I don’t really know what happened but we ended up on the floor.

“When I realised what I was doing I let go. I did not intend to put her to the floor. She landed face down when I pulled her around.

“I had the belt in my hand when I grabbed hold of her and swung her round and then I was on the floor on top of her and I’ve got hold of the belt in my hand.

“I had my right fist over my left fist and was holding just part of the belt. I was pushing down with a reasonable amount of force to hold her down.

“There was a lot of shouting and I was trying to calm the situation. I can’t remember where my knees were. We went to the ground and she was coughing. I let go because she was coughing.

“I just panicked and let go. I was drunk and using drugs. I panicked because of the way she was coughing. I thought I had hurt her.

“I let go pretty quickly. She was coughing. I would never have left her if I knew what was going to happen. Never in my life would I have left her.

Cane became too upset to carry on as he described returning to the house the next morning.

He said: “I came into the house and said ‘Mum’. Normally she would have answered in a shitty way. I went upstairs and she was where I left her and that was when I moved her and turned her over.

“I knew she was dead. I did not have to check.”

In a later interview he said he took his mother’s purse and used her card to take out £200 at a Tesco cashpoint in Churchill Road, Exmouth, which he used to buy cocaine.

Cane also told detectives he had been abused as a child but never reported it and had later been left £212,000 but the alleged molester, his uncle Arthur Williams, when he died.

He used the money to buy a home at Victoria Road, Exmouth, which was on the market at the time of the killing. He also borrowed £60,000 from his mother, who remortgaged her home for £50,000, and used some of the money to pay off earlier drug debts.

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