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Cheadle woman jailed for stabbing own mother to death

Charlene Sargeant will serve a minimum of 14 years behind Credit: BPM Media

A woman from Cheadle has today been jailed for life after 'brutally' stabbing her own mother to death.

Charlene Sargeant, 25, will serve a minimum of 14 years behind bars after a row over household bills led her to repeatedly stabbing Rocky Sargeant with a kitchen knife.

In total, she inflicted 18 stab wounds on Rocky, 53, at the home they shared in Sun Street, Cheadle, before leaving her to bleed to death.

She then embarking on whats been described as a 'child-like' cover-up by cleaned up the blood and placing the murder weapon in Rocky's hand.

It was another two hours before she finally called the emergency services to claim her mother had inflicted the wounds herself.

A jury of seven men and five women around three hours to find Sargeant guilty of murder .

Sentencing Sargeant at Stafford Crown Court, Judge Michael Chambers described the attack as 'brutal and sustained'.

You repeatedly stabbed her in the kitchen using a knife you had taken from the kitchen drawer.

She did not deserve to die, particularly in the way she did. You had a volatile relationship with your mother.

You came down at 7am. She came down. There was a heated argument over household bills. You took a knife from the drawer and repeatedly stabbed her. There were 18 stab wounds in all.She died as a result of blood loss from several blood vessels in the neck. Instead of summoning help, in effect, you left her to bleed to death. At the time of the homicide you were suffering from an adjustment disorder and post traumatic stress. This was compounded by your autism spectrum disorder. And you have a mild intellectual disability, a low IQ.

– Judge Michael Chambers
Charlene Sargeant will serve a minimum of 14 years behind Credit: BPM Media

The judge said there were serious aggravating factors.

He added: "You deliberately attempted to conceal what you had done. You delayed calling 999 for help. You put the knife in your mother's hand facing downwards so as to look as though she had stabbed herself.

"You mopped up and put your blood-stained pyjamas in the washing machine.

"When you called 999 you made out she committed suicide."

Sargeant - who has no previous convictions - had initially claimed her mum’s injuries were self-inflicted when she dialled 999 on March 16.

When police arrived at the home, they found Rocky lying on her back in the entrance to the kitchen with a large knife in her right hand.

The court heard when Sargeant was arrested, she responded: ‘She drove me to it. I killed her.’

Charles Miskin, defending, said: "She was her mother's carer. That is the point - whether she should have been her mother's carer.

Mr Miskin said the attempt to conceal lasted a very short period of time - three or four hours.

He added: "It was a child like attempt to cover things up. Never one that was going to succeed.

"She was provoked by the prolonged, life-long stress caused by her mother.

"The background was this household was like a powder keg, something was about to go off. There was a very long fuse blowing the powder-keg at the end of a very long period."

He said the defendant had violence inflicted on her but did not react.

Mr Miskin QC said: "She has lived an extremely isolated life. It was a terrible life. It is the only offence she probably will ever commit."

Mr Miskin said Sargeant suffers from autism, mild learning disabilities and has a a mild intellectual impairment.

Charlene Sargeant will serve a minimum of 14 years behind Credit: BPM Media

In a prepared statement when she was arrested, Sergeant said: “I lost control following eight years of abuse and picked up a kitchen knife from the draining board and I stabbed my mother with the knife. It was a cry for help because I was emotionally unstable.”

Sargeant has spent 268 days on remand which will count meaning she will serve 13 years and 97 days before she can be considered for release.

Speaking after the guilty verdict, Detective Inspector Victoria Downing, of Staffordshire Police’s major and organised crime department, said: “This has clearly been a distressing case for the family of Rocky, as well as the wider community in Cheadle.

“Sadly, nothing will change what happened that day. We are grateful for the support from the community in bringing this case before the court.”