A 19-year-old man by the name of Aaron Matthew has been handed a life sentence in prison after stabbing his mother 83 times in a Leicester flat.

Aaron, who was described as posing a “serious risk to the community”, attacked his mother, Ingrid Matthew, 53, with a hunting knife, with the force inflicted against her during the frenzied attack chipping her skull and fracturing three ribs.

Ingrid had been seen playing games on her phone just hours before her death, with her former partner, Andrew Marshall, describing the day as a “quiet” and “unremarkable” morning. Mr. Marshall also confirmed Ingrid and Matthew had a “good relationship”, and that his son had never threatened to harm them.

A post-mortem report indicated that Ingrid had also suffered serious wounds to the jugular vein in her neck, and to her thigh, with pathologists saying it was likely she bled to death from both wounds. After the incident, attendees at Leicester Crown Court heard how Aaron changed his clothes and fled to Peterborough, where he handed himself in to local police the next day. 

Katherine Goddard QC, prosecuting, said: “We say there can be little dispute that the person who stabbed Ms Matthew was her son. He says he doesn’t remember the killing. The defence case is that at the time of the stabbing he was suffering from a recognised medical condition that substantially impaired his ability to form a rational judgement or exercise self-control.”

The prosecutor added the defendant’s mental state at the time was “an issue” after it was revealed that Aaron had been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: “This case involves the death of a mother, at the hands of her son and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel strong, powerful emotions. But emotions can’t play any part in your deliberations. It’s vital to adopt a cool, clear-headed and analytical approach to the evidence.”

Pleading guilty to the murder charge, Aaron had initially been charged with his mother’s murder, but changed his plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility during his trial.

Narita Bahra QC, who was defending Aaron, said he had since shown remorse for his actions, but his ASD diagnosis meant his life was difficult. “In previous letters, he accepts he has done wrong and knows he cannot bring his mother back,” she said. “This is a young man who knows he will receive a significant sentence. Aaron has difficulty understanding the feelings of others. People had told him he had a ‘flat face’.

“He is now 19 years of age and has discovered he has a mental health disorder—one he did know about before the offence. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to help this young man.”

Describing the events as a “deeply sad case” for the family of both Ingrid and Aaron, and saying that “no sentence” would cover the loss of Ingrid Matthew, Judge Lucking handed the teenager a life sentence. Unlike murder, life sentences are not automatic in manslaughter cases. Aaron was also issued with two restraining orders preventing him from contacting his grandmother and another relative for the rest of their lives.