Alexandra Healy QC together with Ryan Richter (Sussex CPS) secured convictions of Murder and Threats to Kill against Philip Tarver. Tarver had stabbed his elderly mother through the heart with an ornamental sword and then decapitated her and cut off her ring finger. He put her head in the freezer and her ring finger into a kettle. He threatened to kill his father Colin Tarver who was able to wrestle the sword from his son and call the police.
Tarver denied the killing and alleged it was his father who had killed and decapitated his mother. Psychiatrists agreed he was suffering an acute psychotic episode and one of the issues for the jury was whether that psychosis was drug-induced.