Cambridgeshire son who murdered mother after Googling about slitting her throat jailed for 11 years

John Cole, left, stabbed his mother Wendy Cole, right, to death at their home in March, Cambridgeshire.
Credit: Cambs Police
John Cole, left, stabbed his mother Wendy Cole to death at their home in March, Cambridgeshire. Credit: Cambs Police

A son who stabbed his mother to death after her health went downhill has been jailed for at least 11 years.

John Cole stabbed Wendy Cole, 70, to death at the bungalow they shared in March in Cambridgeshire on 10 May 2021.

When police arrived at the house they found her seriously injured and a laptop open nearby with an internet search reading: "If slit someone's throat how long in prison?"

Cole, 36, was found guilty of murder after a six-day trial in February and at Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday, was jailed for life with a minimum period of 11 years before he is considered for parole.

The court had previously heard that Cole had not coped well with his mother's deteriorating health and had acted as her full-time carer, attempting to put a care plan in place for her in the weeks before he killed her.

Cole had lived with his mother for six years, but as her health got worse he told social services he was depressed and had concerns over the cost of her care.

In the days before he killed his mother, he told loved ones he could not cope.

At 3am on 10 May, Cole called 999 in distress and told operators he had “done something stupid” and said: “I’ve killed my mum and the dog”.

He added: “I’ve stabbed her several times, had thoughts in my head, they tell me to do it.”

Officers rushed to the bungalow and found Mrs Cole injured but she died at the scene. A post-mortem examination showed she had been stabbed three times in the chest.

The laptop showed evidence of Google searches including “how long can you get for murder with knife” and “if I stab and slit someone’s throat how long do I go jail for”.

Other searches included the words: “mum murdered”, “mum murdered by son with knife” and “son murdered mum with knife”.  There were also searches for home care and care agencies in March.

Minutes before he killed his mother, Cole had searched: “If mother and son live together and mum goes into care home, can he stay at the home”.

Investigations revealed that Cole had tried to get counselling, help with mental health and depression and the Samaritans, and made regular searches relating to care providers.

He was later diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and then charged with murder.