A JUDGE has begun summing up the evidence in the case of a man accused of the murder of a grandmother in her own flat.

Christian Darko, who is originally from Ghana, denies the murder of 72-year-old Rose Doughty who lived in the flat above his in Fosdyke Green, Netherfields, Middlesbrough.

He is alleged to have stabbed and strangled the pensioner on November 23 last year before returning to her home to steal £30 to spend on cigarettes and lottery tickets.

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The 41-year-old, who has admitted the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, is said to have pestered the victim regularly for cash.

CCTV cameras captured Mr Darko coming in and out of Mrs Doughty's flat prior to her body being discovered by her granddaughter who had called to visit.

The unemployed mechanic and former security guard is said by his defence team to suffer from a learning disability, although this has been disputed by among others, Dr Stephen Barlow, a consultant forensic psychiatrist who gave evidence in the trial.

Teesside Crown Court has also heard claims that Mr Darko heard voices in his head in the few days before Mrs Doughty was fatally attacked.

The trial continues.