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By Stewart Payne
Christopher Francis, 25, had seemed normal when he left his family home where he was preparing dinner, telling his parents that he was going out to buy a bag of rice.
Instead he drove a short distance to the £1.5 million home of his paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Francis, 84, and her daughter Teresa, 54, in Ropley, Hants. In a “ferocious attack”, he bludgeoned and knifed both women and then drove 20 miles to a police station in Southampton, where he told officers: “I have just killed two women.”
He was arrested and police found the bodies in the bloodstained hallway. The knife and the remains of the house brick were close by.
Francis, who was being treated with anti-depressants at the time of the killings, has been held in Broadmoor high security hospital since his arrest.
He appeared before Judge Mr Justice Steel at Winchester Crown Court yesterday where he denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The Crown accepted his plea.
Nicholas Haggan, QC, prosecuting, told the court that Francis, of Ropley, had been assessed by psychiatrists and found to be suffering from mental abnormality.
The judge adjourned the case for sentence and passed an interim hospital order to ensure that Francis remained at Broadmoor until he reappeared next month.
Speaking outside court, Det Sgt Doug Utting of Hampshire Police said: “We have found no motive for this crime. There was no possible financial gain for him. Francis was at home with his parents making dinner one moment and then said he was going out to buy some rice. He then goes and kills his granny and his aunt.
“Francis was a very talented golfer who was at a professional level. He was educated at Eton and was captain of the golf club there.”