Teen murdered father and attacked mother

A TEENAGER from Colchester bludgeoned his father to death with a crowbar before turning the weapon on his mother.

Roddy Ashworth

A TEENAGER has been found guilty of murdering his father with a crowbar before attempting to kill his mother.

Edward Belben, known as Ed, was just 15 when he bludgeoned his father Gary, 59, to death in December 2007.

After then stabbing him in the skull, plunging the blade six inches into his brain, Belben, now 17, covered his father's body with a duvet.

The attack took place in the boy's bedroom at the family home in Lucas Road, Colchester, and Belben had called his father upstairs under the premise that his stereo had broken.

As Mr Belben bent down to examine the equipment, the youngster, now 17, “ambushed” him from behind, repeatedly hitting him over the head with the tool.

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When he went downstairs he confronted his mother Tanya, now 43, telling her he had “something to show her” before attacking her too with the crowbar and then a pair of scissors.

Belben had denied murder after arguing that his personality was changed after taking the anti-depressant drug Prozac.

Yesterday, at Chelmsford Crown Court Belben was unanimously found guilty of murdering his father and, by a majority verdict of 11 to one, guilty of attempting to murder his mother.

Sitting in the dock, the teenager shook his head and broke down in tears after the first verdict was read out by the jury foreman.

The five men and seven women returned to the court a short while later to deliver the second guilty verdict, which was accompanied by gasps from the public gallery.

Following the conviction, trial judge Mr Justice Tugendhat lifted reporting restrictions which had prevented the boy being identified in the press.

The judge will pass sentence at a later date.

After the verdicts, he said: “I can only express sympathy for her (Mrs Belben) and the other members of her family for the appalling circumstances in which they have found themselves.”

In a statement, Mrs Belben said there were “not enough words” to describe how the ordeal had affected her life and the lives of her family and friends.

She said: “We are devastated. We have lost the most wonderful man. There is a huge space where he should be, which can never be filled.

“I have lost my best friend, my soul mate. My children have lost their special, funny adoring father who would do anything for them. Our extended family has lost a very special brother and uncle.”

In a joint statement, Mr Belben's children, 19-year-old Robert and 20-year-old Jo Belben, said: “This has been an extremely tough year for our family and friends.

“We have seen and done things that have made us realise what is important. We think about dad everyday and how the loss of such an amazing man has affected all of us. A big hole has been left in our family, but we have pulled through together.

“After all of this, none of us can have the outcome we'd like - to have dad back, but we know his memory will live on.

“We would like to thank all of our family and friends for their support, the Essex Police detectives who have been nothing short of brilliant, and dad for all of the wonderful years he blessed us with.”

Outside the court, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector David Peplow described the attack on Mr Belben, who worked for a book company, as “motiveless and sustained”.

He said: “Edward Belben fled the scene following this horrendous attack, but he was arrested a few hours later. Edward Belben also attempted to murder his mother, a woman who has had to endure not only losing her husband but also having to testify in court.

“I would like to offer my sympathies to Gary's family and hope this verdict will offer some comfort to them.”