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Gibsons man killed mother in bed with axe, court hears

Kevin Christopher Webster is charged with second-degree murder in the 2020 death of his mother, Moirin Gladys Webster.
The Gibsons house where Moirin Gladys Webster was found dead.

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

A Gibsons man killed his mother with an axe to the head while she was in bed Dec. 27, 2020, a B.C. Supreme Court judge heard May 2.

“The injuries were catastrophic. Catastrophic head injuries,” testified RCMP Const. Lee Best, who found Moirin Gladys Webster in her bedroom.

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.

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

Webster pleaded not guilty.

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

Information that Webster had killed his mother came in 911 calls he made.

Initially, he did not say who did it.

“I’m in my mom’s house. She’s dead,” he told an operator. “Somebody attacked her.”

Then he said, “Somebody attacked her with an axe. It’s in her head. She’s dead.”

On a second call, he said, “She has an axe in her head.”

“Who attacked her?” asked the operator. 

“I did,” Webster responded.

On a further call, an RCMP member asked, “Was your mother sleeping when you hit her with the axe?”

“Yes,” Webster said.

“Is the axe still in her head?” the member asked.

Webster’s response was unintelligible.

“Leave it where it is,” the member said before giving Webster instruction on how to behave when officers arrived.

Court heard Best was the first officer to enter the bedroom, his gun drawn, flashlight out.

“I could see blood above the headboard,” he said. “I could see there was a person in the bed. I called to my colleagues, ‘She’s in here.’”

Best was going to check for vital signs but stopped.

“I said out loud, ‘She’s dead,’” he recalled.

Const. Shelby Wood also observed the bedroom. 

Asked the judge, “The axe, was it in sight?”

“Yes it was,” Wood said. “It was in the bed.”

Const. Dustin Shevchenko also testified to seeing an axe handle across a pillow.

While the house was being searched, Webster was already cuffed and in the back of a police car.

After his mother was found, he was told he was being arrested for murder. He was read his rights and taken to the Sechelt RCMP detachment, where he asked to call legal aid, eventually speaking with his current lawyer Paul McMurray.

The lawyer asked Best if he was aware Webster “suffers from serious mental health issues.”

“That’s correct,” Best said. 

The Crown told the judge Webster has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals many times. Best had been at the house several months earlier and had spoken with the mother about her son being missing, court heard. It was a police mental health call, he said.

At issue in the case is a post-arrest statement to police that will be the subject of a voir dire — or trial within a trial — to determine if it’s admissible as evidence.

Moirin Gladys Webster was well known in the Gibsons church-going community. She had been a congregant with Christ the King Church, where she had taught Sunday school, ran children’s programming and attended prayer groups.

The trial is scheduled for seven days.