Delia's killer lived fantasy life online, court told

Delia's killer lived fantasy life online, court told

Delia's killer lived fantasy life online, court told

First published in News

A MAN who bludgeoned a pensioner to death created a fantasy life online about his partying and his career as a soldier and a fireman, a court heard.

In reality, jurors heard that Jamie Boult, accused of murdering 85-yearold Delia Hughes in her Southampton home, was a loner who only left his bedroom to buy alcohol and sign on.

Jurors at Winchester Crown Court heard how Boult lived a solitary life in the home in Bitterne which he shared with his mother because he had a social phobia.

However, the court heard how Boult left his home one day in August, walking two and half miles to Mrs Hughes home in Ocean Village, where he lay in wait before hitting her repeatedly with a lump hammer.

He then fled with her jewellery before handing himself in to police a month later.

Details of Boult’s life emerged as mental health experts argued over whether he was mentally ill.

Boult admits killing Delia but has denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The court heard how Boult suffered from acute social phobia since he was 13, missing out on his education except for a brief spell at Itchen College.

Instead jurors were told he spent his day in his room, playing on computer games and going online while drinking vast amounts of alcohol.

The court heard how Boult had been up all night drinking cider when he decided to walk to Ocean Village with the intention of hurting someone.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Mark Roberts denied Boult’s social phobia would have made him act irrationally.

“On the whole it doesn’t cause impairment. I don’t accept he had a depressive episode,” he told the court.

He said that Boult liked nothing better than to Tweet on his Twitter account, which attracted 3,500 followers and portrayed “a positive” life.

But psychiatrist Dr Dai Powell, who examined Boult after the killing, said he found him severely depressed and irrational.

He argued that Boult had begun to become frustrated and that before he killed Mrs Hughes, there had been an “explosion” within him.

Boult, 25, of Chessel Crescent, Southampton, also denies aggravated burglary at a house in the road where he lives on August 14.

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