Axeman detained for killing parents

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The Independent Online
A BRILLIANT maths student slaughtered his parents with a felling axe after he developed a consuming hatred for them, a court was told yesterday.

Christopher Gore rained blows with a three-foot-long axe on the head of his father, Dr John Gore, 57, a nuclear physicist, as he lay in bed in his cottage at Tetbury, Gloucestershire. He killed his mother Ruth, 55, as she came to her husband's aid on the morning of 9 September 1991, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Police now want to question Gore, 27, about the unsolved murders of two women. Carmel Gamble, 43, was bludgeoned to death at her cottage near Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1989, and Melanie Road, 17, was found stabbed to death in Bath in 1984. Both Gore's parents were repeatedly stabbed with a knife after death, Neil Butterfield QC, for the prosecution, said. Gore showed no emotion as Mr Justice Auld made an order that he be detained without restriction of time in the Broadmoor special hospital where he has been receiving treatment since days after the killings.

Mr Butterfield told the court that psychiatrists believed Gore - one of Britain's top graduate mathematicians - had been suffering from a severe mental disorder at the time. His mental condition, which began in childhood, had persisted into adult life, he told Mr Justice Auld.

Gore had been charged with murder, but the Crown accepted his plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Butterfield said: 'He was seriously disturbed at the time. He was then, and remains now, a highly dangerous young man suffering from a schizoid personality.'

Mr Butterfield said Gore developed an 'irrational and consuming hatred' of his parents. He later claimed to police that his parents had starved him of love and affection and had over-ambitious expectations of him. But the Crown had been able to find little evidence of this.

His sister Catherine, 30, strongly denied the allegation, saying they both had a conventional childhood with the love and support of their parents.

The court was told that during postgraduate work he developed behavioural problems and twice attempted suicide. He began to fantasise about harming and killing people and was diagnosed as having a schizoid personality. He dropped out of his studies and began a nomadic lifestyle living at friends' homes and sometimes sleeping rough.

He told police that he woke about 6am on the morning of the killings to collect the long-handled axe from the garage. He practised a few swings with it before collecting a knife from the kitchen. He then attacked his parents with 'terrifying ferocity', Mr Butterfield said.

Gore took pounds 40 from his father's wallet. He then watched a video, took in the Sunday papers and pulled the curtains to give a sense of normality. He cleaned surfaces he might have touched, then, using a timing device, he set an electric fire to come on more than two hours after his departure. He placed papers around the fire and soaked the area with paraffin. His bloodstained shirt was dropped nearby.

He then left the house for Bath to visit friends, who were to say later that his behaviour that evening was entirely normal.

Following news bulletins on the killings, he told friends he was responsible and gave himself up.

(Photograph omitted)

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