The mother of a teenage Army cadet who brutally killed his stepfather said they were a 'happy family' and her son had no reason to kill the man who was a 'role model' to him.

Vladimir Ivashikin was 16 when he attacked Dr Barry Hounsome in his home with a hammer, knife and electric drill on October 29, 2018, while telling him 'Sorry, Dad'.

He later blamed 'insistent and aggressive' 'voices' for ordering him to carry out the 'gruesome' killing.

The 'normal teenager' was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

READ MORE: Boy sent chilling Snapchat to friends after killing stepdad

Five years after the original hearing, the now 22-year-old is on trial at Southampton Crown Court accused of the 54-year-old's murder.

On Tuesday, jurors heard a statement from Ivashikin's mother, Natalia Hounsome, who said her son caused 'no trouble' and would rarely argue.

"Before this incident, I would describe Vladimir as a normal teenager - messy and smelly but very nice.”

However, Ms Hounsome said her son struggled to open up and it was “difficult to get from him how he was feeling”.

READ MORE: Voices told Gosport boy to kill his stepfather with drill

"I would have said that Vladimir and Barry had a very good relationship," she said of her son and Dr Hounsome.

"Vladimir called him dad, Barry was a role model to him, they spent a lot of time together."

The mother of two said the pair would often visit museums together and both enjoyed shooting.

"Sometimes Barry had to discipline Vladimir by telling him off but this was not very often," she added in the statement which was written soon after the attack.

Ms Hounsome - a Russian health economics lecturer who has worked at several universities in the UK - said her son had 'always known' that Dr Hounsome was not his biological father.

The mother said her son would often carry out 'experiments' in his room and once brought a dead fox into the house as he wanted to 'open it up and see what's inside'.

"We never had any concerns about Vladimir's mental health," she said. "He has never mentioned anything about hearing voices in his head."

In May 2019, after admitting manslaughter, Ivashikin was formally found not guilty of murder - and was sent by a judge at Winchester Crown Court to Ravenswood House Hospital, in Fareham, for treatment.

But, the court heard that in February 2022 Ivashikin told a nurse at the hospital, Jacob Butcher, that he had recently 'fabricated' symptoms to get transferred to a different ward.

In January 2023 he was re-arrested and then charged with murder.

Ivashikin - who says that what he told hospital staff in 2022 is false - denies murder but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

Health science expert Dr Hounsome previously worked at the University of Southampton.

The trial continues.