Coventry man admits killing his brother as he slept using a guitar as a weapon

Paul Hawkesford-Barnes Credit: BPM Media

A man has admitted killing his younger brother with a guitar after a disagreement over their mother's care. Steven Barnes, 64, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his younger brother Paul Hawkesford-Barnes, 57, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, on 15 March this year.

Steven attacked Paul as he slept, causing traumatic head, chest and abdominal injuries, a court heard. A blood-stained and damaged guitar was found nearby.

Barnes also pleaded guilty to the attempted grievous bodily harm of their 84-year-old mum following the attack in her home in the Wyken area of Coventry. She had dementia.

She has since died but not as a result of her injuries.

Married father-of-four Mr Hawkesford-Barnes had been sharing the responsibility of looking after his mum with his two brothers. He had stayed overnight to care for her.But Barnes had disagreed with his brothers over the care of their mother and plans had been put in place to relieve him from the pressure of looking after her, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Text messages sent from Mr Hawkesford-Barnes on the night of the killing showed that he had been concerned about his brother's mental state and had even offered to take him to the doctor in the morning.

However, Barnes subjected Mr Hawkesford-Barnes to a "sustained and violent assault using the guitar as a weapon", the CPS said.

Barnes admitted the charges at the hearing at at Warwick Crown Court today, Thursday, September 30.Speaking after the case, Lynne Warrington, from the CPS, said:

“This was a terribly sad case. Steven Barnes was aware that his brothers were planning to relieve him of much of the responsibility of caring for his mother. He will now have to live with the knowledge that he could have avoided this tragedy if he had accepted the help from his brothers. My heartfelt condolences go out to Mr Hawkesford-Barnes’s family.“

He will be sentenced on 18 November.