A callous drug-fuelled gambling addict who murdered his doting grandmother by stabbing her more than 30 times after she gave him £250 to buy an engagement ring has been jailed for life.
Gregory Irvin, 26, knifed charity worker Anne James, 74, in a ‘motiveless and brutal attack’ and slit her throat after she returned from a shopping trip.
Mrs James, a retired nurse, had previously helped her grandson clear his £35,000 debts he had racked up through gambling and taking cocaine.
Gregory Irvin, right, 26, stabbed his grandmother Anne James, 74, left, to death in a ‘motiveless and brutal’ attack after she had previously helped him clear £35,000 gambling and cocaine debts
Gambling addict Irvin was captured on bodycam footage being questioned by police
On February 28 he drove to her house in Walsall, West Midlands, at 12pm to pick up the cash she had offered to give him to buy the engagement ring.
CCTV captured him walking to her small cottage before leaving 15 minutes later. A concerned neighbour discovered her body at 6pm and called police.
Irvin was arrested the following day after his bloody footprints were found in her hallway and kitchen.
He had even attended the house with other grieving relatives saying he had spoken to her on the phone before she died.
Irvin, of Walsall Wood, West Midlands, was today jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court and ordered to serve at least 24 years behind bars for the attack, which was described as ‘motiveless and brutal’ at his trial.
Irvin was captured on CCTV before he murdered Ms James in a ‘motiveless and brutal attack’
Irvin (pictured on CCTV) told a police officer that he had not seen her on the day she died
Mrs Justice Nerys Jefford said: ‘This was a particularly callous and cruel attack which took the heart from your family.
‘Your reaction was cold and calculating as you went about covering your tracks and carried on as if nothing had happened.
‘This has had an unimaginable effect on your family who have had to listen to the horror of the injuries knowing it was done by one of their own.
‘The murder was done for gain, motivated by design and intention to get money from Anne James.
‘She was a wonderful person, an amazing lady, a woman of humanity, compassion and generosity.
Birmingham Crown Court heard Mrs James had invited Irvin to her Walsall home so he could collect £250 she had offered him to buy an engagement ring. Pictured are police at the scene
‘She had been nothing but generous with you and not just in spirit. She has been described as the “family bank”.’
Birmingham Crown Court had heard how Mrs James trusted Irvin implicitly and always welcomed him into her home of almost 40 years in Doveridge Place, Highgate.
She had been making soup and unpacking after a shopping trip before Irvin launched his brutal attack.
He removed a security camera and his grandmother’s mobile phone from the house.
Irvin told a police officer the following day he had not seen her on the day she died.
Blood matching that of Mrs James was found on the 26-year-old’s jacket and on the accelerator of his Mini after she was found dead on her pantry floor.
The court heard Irvin had claimed he was hearing ‘devilish voices’ before the attack but he was found guilty of murder earlier this year and today jailed for 24 years
Giving evidence during his trial, Irvin told the jury he had been hearing ‘devilish’ voices and had difficulty sleeping.
Earlier this month a jury found him unanimously guilty of murder following a trial.
Detective Inspector Harry Harrison, from West Midlands’ Police’s homicide team, said: ‘This was a despicable crime by a compulsive liar, who shunned and manipulated the love and support offered by his family.
‘By killing his grandmother he has destroyed their lives and has rightly been convicted of murder.
‘This was someone Mrs James would have trusted as her grandson and who had always been welcomed into her home.
‘My thoughts remain with the family and I truly hope they can move on and rebuild their lives.’