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Man murdered mother after row over telephone bill

A pilates instructor has been jailed for life to serve a minimum of 12 years for the murder of his elderly mother who he strangled after a row over a telephone bill then took his dog for a walk.

Geoffrey Hobbis pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Winchester Crown Court to the murder of 79-year-old Barbara Hobbis, who was described as "vulnerable", on May 31 this year.

Sentencing him, the judge, Mr Justice Teare, told Hobbis: "It appears that in the week or so before the dreadful event, your mother's sister had died.

"That had saddened her and she had had difficulty using the mobile telephone when phoning her other sister.

"It seems there was an argument between you and your mother over her unwillingness to use the mobile phone, she preferred the landline, you preferred the mobile phone because it was cheaper.

"There may have been other arguments at this time. What seems to have resulted is the two of you stopped speaking to each other and she may have suggested that you move out."

Describing the offence, the judge continued: "It appears that you grossly and wholly unjustifiably over-reacted to these matters by strangling your mother."

William Mousley QC, prosecuting, told the court that the 58-year-old had lived with his mother for 20 years, and for the past five years at Brooklyn Gardens, Fleet, Hampshire, where he strangled her.

He described how the defendant had been arguing in the previous week with his mother over her preference for using the house telephone rather than a mobile phone that he had bought her which had inclusive minutes.

Mr Mousley said that his mother preferred the larger buttons of the house phone which she found easier to use and that the argument had upset her enough to considering selling the bungalow.

He said: "This had caused a dispute between them which resulted in them not talking to each other."

He continued: "He wanted to save money, this grew into him telling her that she was always belittling him."

Mr Mousley said that at 10.30am, Hobbis called the home of his brother, Paul, and spoke to his wife, Sally, telling her that he had strangled his mother and asked them to look after his dog.

He added that the defendant then left his home and took his dog for a walk, greeting the postman as he passed him.

His sister-in-law alerted the police and officers arrived at the house and found Mrs Hobbis on the floor on the lounge and carried out CPR.

She was to die later that day in hospital.

As the defendant arrived back at the bungalow with his dog, he was asked by the officers who he was, to which he replied: "I am the one you are looking for."

The court was shown footage from body-worn video cameras worn by the officers which showed the defendant ask: "What will happen to the dog, I do worry about the dog."

Hobbis told police in interview: "It just all got on top of me, it was all building up and I lost control really, I flipped and got up and grabbed her round the neck."

Mr Mousley said that Hobbis had not shown "no emotional reaction" when he was arrested and had not asked over the wellbeing of his mother.

Kevin Izod, defending, told the court that Hobbis was normally a "placid and calm" man who had been planning to move to India to train to become a yoga teacher. He said: "What is sad about this matter is the cause of it is a silly thing, it appears to be an argument over a mobile phone which has escalated."

Mr Izod added that his client did not have a mental health disorder but was under a period of stress and had been contemplating suicide and had taken an overdose a year previously.

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Sunderland players "to refund fans" after team thrashed 8-0 by Southampton

It's being reported that Sunderland’s players will look to reimburse the 2,456 supporters who travelled to Southampton to watch them get thrashed 8-0

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone said he would ask his team-mates to agree to the gesture.

According to The Chronicle Mannone thinks the team owes the fans.

He said: “We should do it because we didn’t put our foot (down), we didn’t work hard."

Elderly woman rescued from ditch

An elderly woman is lucky to be alive after she was pulled from a ditch by emergency crews having become stranded and exhausted in remote countryside.

The woman, in her 70s, was discovered submerged in mud and water by a passing dog walker near Oakley Lane in Mottisfont at around 11 am yesterday. It's thought she had been stuck for several hours.

It's believed the woman's car had become stuck in mud down a track and her efforts to release the car had left her exhausted and immersed in the mud herself.

Specialist off-road vehicles were needed to reach her. She was taken to Southampton General Hospital suffering from the effects of hypothermia.

Crew Manager Pete McClemont, from Romsey fire station, said "This woman was incredibly lucky she was found and she was able to receive medical treatment before her condition deteriorated...The weather has been... quite wet in the last week, so people should be aware the ground could be boggier than they might expect. It is always worth checking weather forecasts and planning routes before setting off."

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Gallipoli warship to open in Portsmouth

The gunship will open to the public next year Credit: PA

The only surviving ship from the Gallipoli Campaign in the First World War is to be opened to the public for the first time thanks to £1.75 million of lottery cash.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the grant to the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) in Portsmouth, Hampshire, to restore the HMS M.33 in time for the centenary commemorations next year.

Matthew Sheldon, project director, said: "HMS M.33 is a small ship but has a big history.

"It will be wonderful to open the ship to visitors next year on her centenary - finally we'll be able to share the story of her part in the Gallipoli Campaign, and reveal what it was like for the 72 crew who were crammed on board."

The Gallipoli Campaign, fought between April 1915 and January 2016 in what is now Turkey, claimed more than 100,000 lives of personnel from all round the world.

HMS M.33 is a 'Monitor' ship which, at 568 tons and with a shallow draft, was able to get close in to shore and fire at targets on land.

It carried two powerful and oversize 6in guns but has been described as "a basic metal box lacking in comforts".

Elderly woman lucky to be alive after mud rescue

A woman in her 70s is lucky to be alive after she was pulled from a ditch by emergency crews after becoming stranded in remote countryside.

The woman was only discovered, submerged in mud and water, by a passing dog walker near Oakley Lane, Mottisfont, at around 11am this morning.

It is thought the woman's car had become stuck in mud down a track.

Her efforts to free the car had then left her exhausted and immersed in the mud herself for several hours.

It took fire, police and ambulance crews some time to locate the casualty because of her remote location and they needed specialist off-road vehicles to reach her.

She was taken to Southampton General Hospital suffering from the effects of hypothermia.

This woman was incredibly lucky she was found and she was able to receive medical treatment before her condition deteriorated. The weather has been also quite wet in the last week, so people should be aware the ground could be boggier than they might expect. It is always worth checking weather forecasts and planning routes before setting off.

It was only thanks to the persistence of our crews, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) from South Central Ambulance Service and the police, along with some help from National Trust wardens, that we were able to resolve this incident."

– Crew Manager Pete McClemont, from Romsey fire station

Historic ship's dog declared male after 500 years

Hatch's skeleton Credit: PA

For years she was thought to be a girl, but now Hatch, the seadog who went down with the Mary Rose nearly 500 years ago, has been declared a boy.

DNA tests on the mongrel's remains have revealed more accurate details about the dog, whose bones were beautifully preserved in the silt of the Solent until their recovery in 1982.

Until now, Hatch was thought to have been the only known female on board the Mary Rose, which sank in 1545.

Hatch's skeleton is on display at Portsmouth's Mary Rose Museum, where 19000 objects from Henry VIII's ill-fated ship are on display

The Mary Rose museum Credit: PA
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