“Upstanding member of the community” tried to smother mother with pillow, court hears

David McClean

A Bishop’s Waltham man described as “an upstanding member of the community” covered his 92-year-old mother’s face with a pillow to end her suffering, Winchester Crown Court heard yesterday.

David McLean, 72, a former city councillor and Mayor of Winchester, was said to have told an NHS 111 operator: “She was dying and I helped her.”

Mr McClean is accused of attempting to murder his mother Margaret at her home in Waltham Chase on October 6th 2022.

The court heard he is not accused of killing her, even though she died at about the same time. His mother’s body was found by police in the early hours of October 7th at her home in Chase Grove.

Jodie Mittell, prosecuting, told the jury: “On any view, this is a sad case. The defendant in this case is David McLean, an upstanding member of the community, someone of impeccable good character.

“On the evening of October 6th 2022, Mr McLean, for reasons you may have some sympathy with, tried to end his elderly mother’s life. “She was on end-of-life care and he was her bedside vigil… Using a pillow, he attempted to smother her.”

Ms Mittell said Mr McLean called the NHS 111 number, telling the operator: “I had to kill her, I had to. She was suffocating… I had to do it to stop her suffering.”

She said he later told police: “I couldn’t live with myself watching her drown… I can’t remember where the cushion came from but I can remember putting it over her face and saying, ‘I am sorry, Mum.'”

David McLean, of Morley Drive, denies the charge. The case continues.