Man, 82, in court on care home murder charge

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The Independent Online

An 82-year-old man was remanded in custody today after appearing in court charged with the murder of a fellow care home resident.

Peter Woodroof is accused of killing Ivy Hawken, 92, at Hyne Town House care home in Strete, Dartmouth, Devon, on Wednesday.

Mr Woodroof appeared at Torquay Magistrates Court held in a custody suite at Torquay Police Station today.

Magistrates, a court clerk and prosecuting and defending solicitors squeezed into a small medical room in the police station before Mr Woodruff was brought in in a wheelchair, looking frail and confused.

Only one of his two sons, who had come to the hearing, was able to sit beside him in the room.

Mr Woodroof has Parkinson's disease, is blind in one eye and had a hip operation two weeks ago.

When asked by the court clerk whether he understood the charge of murder he said yes.

Mr Woodroof was remanded in custody to stay in the hospital wing at HMP Exeter until alternative accommodation could be found.

The case was adjourned to be heard at Plymouth Crown Court on January 11 next year.

Police were called to Hyne Town House at around 10.30pm on Wednesday by paramedics who had attempted to resuscitate Mrs Hawken but she was pronounced dead at Torbay Hospital.

Mrs Hawken had lived at Hyne Town House for more than five years and had one son.