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Man pleads guilty to manslaughter of his brother

|News, Violent crime

 A man has admitted killing his brother with a guitar at their mother’s home.

Steven Barnes, 64, of Telfer Road, Coventry pleaded guilty today (30 September 2022) to the manslaughter of Paul Hawkesford-Barnes. He also pleaded guilty to the attempted grievous bodily harm of his vulnerable 84-year-old mother.

On 15 March 2022, Paul Hawkesford-Barnes, aged 57, was asleep in bed at his mother’s house in Wyken when he was violently assaulted by his brother which resulted in traumatic head, chest and abdominal injuries.

Mr Hawkesford-Barnes, a married father of four, had been sharing the responsibility of looking after his elderly mother with his two brothers and he had stayed overnight to care for their mother.

Steven Barnes had disagreed with his brothers over the care of their mother and plans had been put in place to relieve him from the pressure of looking after her.

Text messages sent from Mr Hawkesford-Barnes on the night of the killing showed that Mr Hawkesford-Barnes had been concerned about his brother Steven’s mental state and had even offered to take him to the doctor in the morning.

However, Barnes subjected Mr Hawkesford-Barnes to a sustained and violent assault using the guitar as a weapon.

Mr Hawkesford-Barnes was discovered to have suffered a serious head injury in the morning by the paid carer and he was taken to hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Steven Barnes admitted the charges at the hearing today (30 September 2022) at Warwick Crown Court.

Lynne Warrington of the CPS said: “This was a terribly sad case. Steven Barnes was aware that his brothers were planning to relieve him of much of the responsibility of caring for his mother. He will now have to live with the knowledge that he could have avoided this tragedy if he had accepted the help from his brothers. My heartfelt condolences go out to Mr Hawkesford-Barnes’s family.“

He will be sentenced on 18 November.

Notes to editors

  • Lynne Warrington is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands. 

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