A MAN has appeared in court accused of murdering his mother who was found with devastating injuries in her own home.

Tracy McPartland suffered 29 rib fractures, “massive” bruising to her back and “extensive” facial bruising, a post-mortem examination revealed.

The 45-year-old died at her home in Middlesbrough just before Christmas last year, and Teesside Crown Court heard the injuries are thought to have been inflicted within 72 hours of her death.

Alexander McPartland, 23, did not enter a plea. His barrister, Tamara Pawson, told Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, he denies causing his mother’s death.

McPartland, of Morpeth Avenue, Middlesbrough, will next appear in court on July 4 when he will be asked to enter a plea. A trial date of December 4 was also set.

Prosecutor Nick Dry told the court that Ms McPartland was seen “fit and well” by a neighbour at about 2pm on December 20, and noises were heard coming from the property in Delarden Road through the night.

The following morning, the victim’s partner found her “very badly injured, having been beaten to the head and body”, said Mr Dry.

Although she had complained of feeling “very unwell”, Ms McPartland did not go to hospital, and died on December 22, Mr Dry said.

Her son was arrested and questioned, and released on bail while the Cleveland Police investigation continued.

The court heard that he answered bail twice, and was charged and remanded in custody on Tuesday.

It is believed Ms McPartland, who had lived at her address for at least ten years, had two children and was a grandmother.

At the time of her death, neighbours described her as a “lovely woman” who “adored” the children who lived in the area.

“Whenever the kids were playing out the back, she was always there giving them drinks and ice lollies,” one neighbour said “She was just really nice and kind. She was everything you would want in a neighbour.

“She kept herself to herself most of the time, but would always speak and ask how you were doing if she saw you.”