Man to be sentenced for stabbing and strangling his mother to death in Market Weighton

Helen HarrisonHelen Harrison
Helen Harrison

Rick Parker, 40, stabbed Helen Harrison, 59, in the chest with a 20-inch kitchen knife, strangled her and struck her on the head during the gruesome murder in the hallway of their home in Market Weighton.

The murder occurred just over two after weeks after Parker had beaten up his stepfather Roy Thompson, then aged 72, who suffered cuts and bruises to his head and black eyes after being punched and headbutted, a jury at Hull Crown Court heard.

Parker was charged with murdering his mother and assaulting Mr Thompson, causing actual bodily harm, but was deemed unfit to plead or stand trial due to his mental state so the jury had to decide if he did the acts.

On Friday, February 16, following a three-day finding-of-fact hearing, the jury found that he did do the acts, albeit while labouring under a mental disability at the time.

Ms Kelly said it was seemed that Parker killed his mother because she wanted him to leave the house and get help for his mental-health problems.

A post-mortem revealed Mrs Harrison died of a stab wound to the chest combined with strangulation.

There were also “blunt-force injuries to her head consistent with blows being struck”.

Ms Kelly said that Parker moved in with his mother and stepfather in 2021 and the atmosphere inside the house was convivial initially, but Parker’s mental health “went into decline” after he was knocked off his bike and suffered spinal injuries in a road crash in December of that year.

On March 5 last year, Mrs Harrison, on the advice of police, called the ambulance service to ask them to pick him up and take him for a mental-health assessment.

Two paramedics arrived at the house at about 4pm and Parker answered the door.

When they said they were there to get him help, he said he “didn’t need their help”.

One of the paramedics told Mrs Harrison that her son appeared to have “full (mental) capacity” and that they “couldn’t force him to do anything he didn’t want to do without consent”.

“They said they were sorry: there wasn’t anything they could do, and…left,” said Ms Kelly.

About 20 minutes later, the same paramedics received a call from the ambulance service saying there was a life-threatening incident at the house they had just left.

Parker had told an operator that a woman was “badly injured” and “clearly dead” in the hallway.

He said it was “definitely a body-bag job”.

The paramedics arrived back at the house with police and found Mrs Harrison’s battered and bloodied body in the vestibule, lying face down, with a serrated knife protruding from her shoulder.

James Horne KC, for Parker, said his client had never given his own account of events in court due to his mental condition and had only ever said that there had been a “household accident”.

Parker will be sentenced on a date to be fixed.