Doncaster woman killed partner with unknown man, court told

Thomas Groome, of Thorne, whose death sparked a court case
Thomas Groome, of Thorne, whose death sparked a court case

A mother has told a court that her son did not help her to murder her partner - but she can not remember the name of the man who did.

June Buttle told Sheffield Crown Court that her son Jason Thaxter, who is accused of murdering Thomas Groome, did not know the 54-year-old was dead until she appeared before the court herself and pleaded guilty to his manslaughter last year.

She told the court that on the day he was killed, January 1 2010, the victim asked her to with him when he visited a man at an address in Doncaster. She said she went because she was ‘used to doing what she was told’ and did not ask him why they were going ‘because he did not like being questioned’.

She said she could not remember exactly where the house was, or the name of the man who lived there - but he was the man who had helped her to kill Thomas.

When pushed by Dafydd Enoch QC, prosecuting, to give the man’s name she said: “I’ve thought about it carefully for seven years and I can’t remember. It was the only time I’d heard his name or seen him.”

Continuing her evidence, Buttle said she had been arguing with Thomas in the living room of the house, when the man struck him with a piece of wood. She had then delivered a second blow, causing him to fall to the ground.

At this time, she said she left the house at her accomplice’s request. She admitted that she was not sure at this point if Thomas was dead.

When Mr Enoch asked her why she had left and not called an ambulance, she said: “If you do what one man says, you do what all men tell you to do.”

Buttle told the court she later returned to the house and realised that Thomas was dead. Along with the man, she rolled the victim in carpet and carried him to the boot of his own car. She said the man told her that he would take the body to Armthorpe Woods to burn it.

She later added: “I never told Jason what had happened.”

Thaxter denies murder. The trial continues.