Oxford grandmother found bludgeoned to death suffered 'most brutal attack'

Oxford Mail: Jennifer Hume was bludgeoned to death at a caravan park in Horspath Jennifer Hume was bludgeoned to death at a caravan park in Horspath

AN Oxford grandmother, who was found with a knife in her head in a blood-splattered caravan, suffered “the most brutal attack imaginable”.

His face covered in blood, murder suspect Stewart Dale was arrested by police outside his static home in Horspath in the early hours of Friday, May 18.

Inside the 28-year-old’s home was the body of 55-year-old Jennifer Hume.

A knife was embedded in her head when police found her, a court heard yesterday.

Dale admits killing Ms Hume, of Hamel Walk, but denies murder. His trial is expected to end early next week.

Ann Evans, prosecuting, told the jury at Guildford Crown Court that Dale had killed Ms Hume with weapons including a light fitting and a baseball bat after she squeezed his genitals when they were in bed together.

She said: “You may well think when you hear the evidence in this case that this was the most brutal attack imaginable.

“Not content on simply killing her, he used various implements to beat her and then left her for dead.”

Dale and Ms Hume had been drinking whisky and red wine with others at Oxford city centre pubs The Chequers and The Swan and Castle on Thursday, May 17.

The pair took a taxi from Carfax to Dale’s home in Prospect Park at about 10.15pm.

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At about 1.45am Dale appeared at a neighbour’s house with dried blood on his face and said he had killed someone, the prosecution said.

After he was arrested he told police: “She deserved it.”

Mrs Evans told the jury they would hear graphic evidence about the crime scene and Ms Hume’s injuries.

She said: “It is going to be the hardest bit for you to bear during the course of this trial, because the ferocity of the attack on Jennifer Hume had left blood virtually everywhere.”

She said the blood found on Dale’s clothes matched Ms Hume’s.

And she said in a police interview Dale, who made money doing odd jobs for people, had admitted enjoying the attack.

She said: “He said he wasn’t even angry but agreed he was possibly getting a buzz out of what he was doing.

“He said at one point he was enjoying what he was doing, enjoying trying to make as much damage as possible.

“He wanted to cut her wrist off and what had gone through his head was to cut her head off.

“Suffice to say because of the severity of the injuries she had to be identified by fingerprints rather than by the more usual method of getting loved ones to identify the body.”

Dale’s defence is he suffered from a loss of control after Ms Hume grabbed his private parts when he was “too drunk” to have sex with her.

But Mrs Evans told the jury of nine men and three women: “Put yourself in the defendant’s shoes for a moment. Can you imagine reacting the way he did?

“The Crown say there is no person on earth who could consider reacting that way and admit afterwards that he quite enjoyed it, is there?”

Mrs Evans described divorcee Ms Hume, who was originally from Banbury, as “a bubbly, warm-hearted person”, adding: “Everyone who knew her spoke about her fondly.”

The trial continues.

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