THE MAN ACCUSED of murdering a Hampshire great-grandmother has been found guilty.
Jamie Boult has been found guilty by the jury at the trial of Delia Hughes, who returned a 10:2 majority verdict.
Mrs Hughes' daughter, Beryl, was present in court and was in floods of tears following the verdict being read out.
During the four-day trial jurors heard how Mrs Hughes had gone into the bedroom of her ground floor waterside apartment in Ocean Village, Southampton, after hearing a noise and was knocked to the ground as a heavy lump hammer was smashed onto her head from behind, Winchester Crown Court was told.
He then struck her at least eight times on the head with the weapon.
Boult, 25, had picked her home at random on the morning of Saturday August 18 last year, intending to “kill whoever was in there” jurors were told by prosecutor William Mousley QC.
The court heard how Boult was a “social recluse” who lived in his bedroom at his mother's home in Chessel Crescent, Bitterne, and barely interacted with any other human being including his own mother who he didn't get on with.
Jurors also 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.
Part of the case centred around evidence from mental health experts who argued over whether he was mentally ill.
Boult, of Chessel Crescent, Southampton, admitted killing Delia but 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.
Only days before, on August 14, he had broken into his next-door neighbour's home by smashing a window.
He was armed with an axe from his garden shed, and said he would have used it if anyone was in.
Jurors have already found him guilty of that aggravated burglary charge.