Oct 31, 2015

Religious zealot who murdered his sect leader mother in her own home when she objected to a preacher he was watching on TV is jailed for more than 20 years

October 30, 2015

Beryl Gilchrist (pictured), 58,  was stabbed to death by her son,  Jermaine Gilchrist, after she objected  to a preacher he was watching on TV
Victim: Beryl Gilchrist (pictured), 58,
was stabbed to death by her son,
Jermaine Gilchrist, after she objected
to a preacher he was watching on TV 

A religious zealot was today jailed for more than 20 years for murder after he brutally stabbed his sect leader mother in the neck when she objected to a preacher he was watching on TV.

Jermaine Gilchrist, 39, fell out with his mother, Beryl Gilchrist, 58, after she gave herself a name used to refer to Jesus and cut off her family to become the leader of a Christian sect.

He traveled from his Huddersfield home to Mrs Gilchrist's London house on an overnight coach in the early hours of the morning after buying a knife from a pound shop, prosecutors said.

He arrived at the Croydon property at around 4am and later that day, started watching Sky TV in the living room in the presence of his mother.

As a certain preacher appeared on-screen, Mrs Gilchrist declared she did not like them, causing her son to fly into a fit of rage, prosecutors said.

He stabbed his mother in the neck with a four-inch knife - thought to be the one he had bought - until its handle snapped off, before covering her in a duvet and laying a Bible next to her.

He then sold Mrs Gilchrist's mobile phone and charger for £25 at the nearby shop, World Internet & Telecom, London's Old Bailey heard.

At 8.17pm, Gilchrist called 999 and told the dispatcher his emergency was ‘murder’, saying: ‘My mother - she’s dead, she’s lying in the front room. I killed her - she’s been stabbed to death’.

Detectives rushed to the scene, where they found Gilchrist calmly smoking a cigarette.

'The defendant was seen smoking a cigarette, he appeared relaxed and when asked where his mother was he said in the front room', said Martin Hicks QC, prosecuting. 'He said his mother tried to escape through the open back door but he grabbed her and brought her into the living room.'

Officers discovered the knife, with its handle broken off, underneath Mrs Gilchrist's body.

Gilchrist later told detectives that his mother 'only do evil'. He claimed he had stabbed her to death at her home in Miller Road, Croydon, 'to send her on her way,' the court heard.

Oliver Blunt QC, defending, said both Gilchrist and his brother Elvis has fallen out with their mother after she had joined a church group called Elelyon The House of Prayer For All Nations.

'Elvis identified the breakdown of the relationship with their mother as being because of her association with what he described as a mixed-up African cult,' he told the court

'The catalyst that seemed to provoke this assault was an argument in relation to a certain preacher on a Sky TV channel that she took exception to. Mr Gilchrist was watching a preacher, she didn't like that preacher, and that argument ended up in the fatal attack on Mrs Gilchrist.'

The court heard Mrs Gilchrist had recently changed her name by deed poll to Nazarine Samuel.

She had also cut off contact with her close family.

When Gilchrist told police about the attack, on June 24, 2010, he said: 'She began speaking to me very rudely, talking to me like I was some beast between her legs. I judged her.'

He said he 'got a pillow so she could rest her head, and put a fake Bible next to her.'

This is an offence of murder of your own mother, and that's a dreadful thing, to kill one's own mother - Judge Nicholas Cooke QC

'The reference to fake Bible was no doubt another manifestation of the problems he encountered with his mother', added Mr Blunt.

Gilchrist has been detained under the Mental Health Act since January 2011, having been deemed mentally unfit to plead.

But after being passed fit by psychiatrists, the defendant this morning pleaded guilty to murder and a separate attack on his ex-girlfriend.

Judge Nicholas Cooke QC sentenced him to life in prison - and ordered that he serve at least 20 years and 252 days in custody before being considered for release.

'This is an offence of murder of your own mother, and that's a dreadful thing, to kill one's own mother', Judge Cooke told Gilchrist, adding: 'I accept at the time of offending you were confused mentally and there are elements of you being subject to a form of religious mania.'

The judge pointed out Mrs Gilchrist, a Jamaica-born mother of three divorcee, suffered defence wounds as she struggle to escape. 'Her last moments must have been ones of terror', he said.

Gilchrist, from Lockwood, Huddersfield, was on bail at the time of the murder, having been arrested three weeks earlier for stabbing his ex-girlfriend in the shoulder. He broke into the home of Joanne Helm, then 23, in the middle of the night on June 6, 2010, and woke her up.

'She woke to find him entering her bedroom, he sat on the bed and started talking about their relationship', said Mr Hicks.

'When she ignored him, he suddenly swung his right arm and hit her left shoulder.

'She felt a stabbing pain and saw blood running from her shoulder, and she saw the defendant dropping a vegetable knife.'

The court heard the couple had been involved in a several incidents of domestic violence during their volatile five-year relationship.

Her last moments must have been ones of terror - Judge Cooke

Their daughter was just seven month old at the time of the attack, and was in the house, the court heard.

Police had also been called to past claims of violence by Gilchrist against his mother.

Mr Hicks said Ms Helm washed away the blood after the stabbing, but went back to sleep instead of reporting it for fear of more violence from Gilchrist.

When he was later arrested for murder, Gilchrist admitted he stabbed Ms Helm because she had been blasphemous, the court heard.

'He said if the injury had been fatal he would have just let her die like his mother', said Mr Hicks.

'He said the event had been a success - there had been truth and some light on the subject.'

Gilchrist was jailed for five years in 2000 after carrying out another stabbing. He also had previous convictions for threatening behaviour in 1999, and theft and disorderly conduct in 2009.

In addition to his murder sentence, the defendant was also today handed a consecutive term of eight years for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the stabbing of Ms Helm.


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