A man found his mother’s body with multiple stab wounds lying face-down under the settee in the living room of her home, a murder trial jury was told today (Tuesday, June 11).

Declan Siviter, who worked away as a steel fixer for up to a fortnight at a time, had not seen his mother, Glenna Siviter, for a couple of weeks since his last visit to her home in Grimwood Avenue, Brambles Farm, Middlesbrough, in early December.

Mr Siviter told Newcastle Crown Court that initially, having gained entry using his key in the back door, on Friday, December 15 last year, there appeared to be nobody in the house and he thought she must not be at home.

But after spotting the settee slightly away from its usual position against a living room wall and partially raised, he lifted a throw hanging down from the seat and saw his mother’s hand.

(Image: Terry Blackburn)

He felt her and her skin was freezing cold, so he immediately went to phone the police.

The court heard that emergency services confirmed 50-year-old Mrs Siviter’s death on arrival at the scene.

Pathological examination confirmed she suffered 36 stab wounds to the head, neck, torso and upper limbs and it was estimated her death took place up to four days earlier, although Home Office pathologist Dr Jenny Bolton told the court that pinpointing the time of death was, "an imperfect science".

Prosecution counsel Peter Moulson KC told the jury it was thought to be the first of three similar connected incidents involving defendant Andrew Steven Hall which took place in the area within four days in mid-December, last year.

“In each one of those incidents the Crown contends he used a knife or knives to inflict injuries.

“The background of drug taking and addiction to drugs, particularly crack cocaine, will feature in this case.”

He said the jury would hear from a range of sources, including witness evidence, CCTV and scientific analysis, of events between the dates of December 11 and 15, including the death of Mrs Siviter and further alleged non-fatal knife attacks on two men.

(Image: Terry Blackburn)

Mr Moulson said the last video footage of Mrs Saviter was of her entering her home, on the evening of December 10 last year, while the last recorded use of her phone was at 2.51am the next morning.

CCTV in the area showed a person at the rear of her home at 3am, which Mr Moulson said the prosecution alleges was the defendant approaching the back door.

Mr Moulson said it was established through a witness that Mrs Siviter had been spending time in the company of the defendant and a named female acquaintance.

Forensic evidence revealed a mix of Hall’s DNA and that of the deceased on a blood stain near her ankle.

Mr Moulson said further inquiries revealed several items of jewellery, plus family passports were taken from Miss Siviter’s home.

“They were taken in that robbery which we would say was the motive for killing her.

“The Crown contends that regarding the first incident of violence, Hall murdered her in the course of robbing her, a few days before she was found by her son, in the circumstances in which he found her.

“The jewellery taken from her home was for the purposes of being sold for cash or exchange more directly for drugs.”

(Image: The Northern Echo)

The court heard that following the second of two non-fatal knife attacks on fellow drug users, in Laycock Street, Middlesbrough, Hall was arrested nearby in a car taken from the second victim, on Friday, December 15, from where two knives were recovered, as well as three passports taken from Mrs Siviter's home address.

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In an interview following his arrest, the defendant made no reply to questions put to him.

Hall, now 47, of Thorntree Avenue, Middlesbrough, denies the murder of Mrs Siviter, plus the attempted murder, and the alternative of wounding with intent, of the two male victims of knife attacks in the days after the alleged fatal stabbing.

The trial, expected to last up to three weeks, continues tomorrow (Wednesday, June 12).