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Gibsons man charged in mother's death has history of mental illness, court hears

A Gibsons man on trial for second-degree murder in the 2020 death of his mother has a history of mental illness, B.C. Supreme Court has heard.
Kevin Christopher Webster's next court appearance on May 5 will involve final submissions from lawyers.

Warning: Details in this story may be distressing to some readers.

A Gibsons man admitted to RCMP that he killed his mother with an axe while she was in bed on Dec. 27, 2020, a B.C. Supreme Court judge heard May 4.

Kevin Christopher Webster is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Moirin Gladys Webster, in her home on Sargent Road. He was arrested at the scene without incident, officers testified.

Justice Geoffrey Gomery has spent two days watching and hearing three statements from Webster to RCMP. Those were played in a voire dire — a trial within a trial to determine admissibility of evidence.

Gomery ruled the evidence admissible, finding Webster was not intimidated or offered inducements to speak by officers.

Webster said he got one of two axes at the house and used it to hit his mother. He also had a knife.

Webster told officers he never thought of killing her before.

“I think your mom knew if somebody didn’t look after you, you’d be living on the street,” Sgt. Chris Kelly said.

“I don’t care,” Webster said.

After he killed his mother, he had a cigarette and called police, court heard.

At times, Webster refused to speak, asking to return to his cell or speak with a lawyer. He had already spoken with Paul McMurray, who has been his defence counsel.

Other times, he became animated, asserting his rights.

As the interviews wound on though, he began speaking of spending 25 years in prison for the offence.

The Crown has already told Gomery the case is one of not-criminally responsible due to mental disorder.

Webster has pleaded not guilty.

The court has already heard from RCMP Const. Lee Best, who found Moirin Gladys Webster in her bedroom.

“The injuries were catastrophic. Catastrophic head injuries,” Best testified May 2.

Crown prosecutor Trevor Cockfield told the judge Webster was “operating under a delusional belief that his mother was part of a family conspiracy against him and possibly a threat to him.”

And that was part of what Kelly explored in taking three statements from Webster.

He focused first, though, on Webster’s background before moving to the circumstances of his mother's death.

Early in the interview, Webster told him he had been taking anti-psychotic medication. He also said he had been dealing with paranoia.

Gomery heard there had been earlier calls by Webster to police about his family and money.

“The money’s being kept from me,” Webster told Kelly. “I never got the full portion of money. The rest of it was kept by my family.”

He admitted to being paranoid about the money.

Webster told Kelly he had received an inheritance from his grandmother, later saying it was in a trust fund. The amount of the inheritance kept changing as he spoke — from $40,000 to $60,000.

He said with his mother dead and him going to prison for murder, his family could have the money and possessions.

“That’s it and that’s why I did it,” he said.

“She’s dead. I’m going to prison. The money is gone,” he said.

He said several times his family was going to either kill or murder him, Kelly countering that his siblings (who have attended the trial) love him and would support him.

On May 3, as Webster was escorted from the courtroom, he asked one brother if he was going to visit him.

Final arguments in the case will be heard on May 5.