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'TRAUMA WAS NOT TO BLAME' Man's 'horrific upbringing'.

Byline: By EMMA DAVISON News Reporter

THE traumatic upbringing of murder-accused Richard Walsh had nothing to do with his alleged killing of his fiancee and her daughter, a psychiatrist says.

Forensic psychiatrist Robert Peckett told a jury that the labourer, now 33, had suffered a horrific upbringing.

He said it included abuse from his mother and sexual assault from two of her partners, but it could not be connected to the brutal slaying of Samantha Jessop, 38, and her daughter Rebecca, 20.

The mother and daughter were found dead at the home the three shared in Fernside Avenue, Almondbury on December 14, 2006.

Walsh is accused of strangling Samantha and then stabbing Jessica before burning both their bodies. He denies murder.

His trial at Leeds Crown Court has heard how Walsh had a history of mental health problems, including borderline personality disorder and depression.

It has also heard that his traumatic childhood may have contributed to the state of mind he was in when he is alleged to have murdered the women.

But Prof Peckett told the jury yesterday that while these events had contributed to his illness he couldn't see a connection between his abusive past and their deaths.

He said: "There's no doubt that he had a dire, abusive childhood and that had an effect on his development and that it has been the root cause of his problems ever since.

"I don't think that the relationship between Mr Walsh and his mother has anything to do with this matter.

"He killed two women, one after the other. One of them was left in a sexually degrading position and both bodies were cremated in a bedroom.

"I'm struggling to see what this relevance this has to his relationship with his mother.

"If he had murdered his mother or it had been something to do with her then I may have considered it." The jury heard earlier that Walsh, who dated a string of older women, had been more likely to form romantic attachments to older women because he was looking for an alternative mother figure.

Prof Nigel Eastman said: "For anybody who's been abused by a mother it's not uncommon for them to attach themselves to alternative mother figures."

The case continues.

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VICTIMS: Samantha Jessop and daughter Rebecca
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 19, 2008
Words:382
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