A grandfather who drowned his own grandson as an act of revenge because the boy’s mother refused to let him stay at her house has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years.
Stewart Greene was angry because his daughter Joanne, 38, would not allow him to move into her home following his discharge from a psychiatric unit.
Greene went on to drown Joanne’s son Alex Robinson just 12 days after his discharge.
Joanne Greene had urged staff not to release him due to her fears of what he might do but he was not mentally ill and had been exaggerating his symptoms because he did not want to live on his own, preferring what he saw as a cushy life of being looked after 24 hours a day in an institution.
Justice Thirlwall, passing sentence at Lincoln Crown Court on Thursday, November 26, told Greene: “You have sought to manipulate everyone in this court.
“Your callousness cannot be over stated. You murdered Alex. The concern you expressed in the aftermath was only for yourself. Not a word for anyone else.
“You didn’t want to be discharged from hospital but there was no basis at all that you should have stayed. You were not suffering a mental illness. You had a personality disorder. One of its features is that you manipulate people to get what you want.
“You couldn’t live with your family so you took an extreme and shocking route to get what you wanted. This was not the product of mental illness. This was wholly your responsibility. Your culpability is very high. Whether you are ever released will be a matter for the parole board.”
Greene went to stay with his ex wife Andrea but on the day of the killing she had planned a Christmas shopping trip with Joanne.
Greene was left alone with Alex and locked the front door and then filled the bath before escorting Alex into the bathroom and forcing him face down into the water.
Alex, who had such a fear of water that he would not even sit down in a bath, struggled but was drowned by his grandfather.
Michael Evans QC, prosecuting, said that Alex, who was autistic, hated water.
“The murder was pre-planned and Stewart Greene had a clear intention to kill him.
“He forcibly drowned Alex in the bath. He would never have got into that bath. It was the last place he would ever have gone. He was wary of water and disliked even getting his face wet and his grandfather drowned him. Greene’s intention was to kill and he did so in the most brutal way.”
After carrying out the killing Greene calmly sat down and rolled himself a cigarette before waiting for Joanne and his ex-wife Andrea to return.
The two women found the door locked and when Greene let them in they were left in shock after he told them “I’ve drowned Alex in the bath”.
Joanne frantically pulled her son out of the water and the two women tried to revive him.
They rang 999 while Greene sat on his own on the settee in the front room without offering to help.
Ambulance and police arrived within minutes and Greene made an immediate confession to officers.
The court heard how he had been in and out of psychiatric units for nearly 20 years and was diagnosed with a psychopathic personality disorder. On previous occasions when he was due for discharge he had assaulted staff.
Greene made a full confession in court saying: “I wanted to stay with my daughter. The truth is I killed Alex.”
“God, I’m finished. I’ve been guilty of being selfish all my life.
“I’ve done what I’ve done.”
Greene, 65, of Grimoldby, originally denied the murder of Alex Robinson at the boy’s home in Lincoln on December 23, 2014 but changed his plea to guilty on the eighth day of his trial.
“We will continue to keep his memory alive”
The family of Alex said in a statement: “We would like to say thank you for all the support from well- wishers during what has been a very difficult period for us as a family, in order to get justice for Alex.
“We were privileged to have had Alex, if only for a short time.
“Nothing will ever make up for the loss of Alex and this has left a huge hole in our lives. Alex’s sister has been left without her brother whom she idolised and we will continue to keep his memory alive in everything that we do. Shine bright little boy.”
Speaking following the culmination of the case DI Helen Evans, of EMSOU Major Crime and the Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said: “To say I’m pleased with the result today would be the wrong turn of phrase because there are no winners in this case.
“However, I am satisfied that the right thing has happened and that the sentence imposed on Greene is a fitting one.
“What is stark in this case is the heartbreak and devastation that has been caused to one family. The sadness of losing Alex cannot be put into words and for that to have happened at the hands of his grandfather is more than one family should have to bear.
“I didn’t know Alex but through this investigation I feel I have come to know him. This is a case that will stay with me for a very long time.
“I only hope that Alex’s family can begin to repair and will continue to remember Alex now that this particular part of the process is over. Our thoughts and feelings are with them.”
Look back over the trial:
- Grandfather denies brutal murder of grandson in Lincoln
- Lincoln mother recounts horrific moment she found son murdered in the bath
- Doctor tells court Stewart Greene strangled her just months before allegedly murdering grandson
- Nine-year-old’s injuries were ‘consistent with drowning’ Lincoln murder trial hears
- Man accused of murdering grandson in Lincoln was “not suitable for discharge” from psychiatric unit
- Grandad accused of boy’s murder was let out of mental health facility without notice, trial hears
- “I’m a dead man. They will kill me in prison for this,” Lincoln grandad tells officer after arrest
- Lincoln grandad confesses in court he drowned grandson in the bath
- Grandad on murder trial “angry to be still alive”, psychiatrist tells Lincoln Crown Court
- ‘Callous’ Lincoln grandad culpable for grandson’s murder, psychiatrist tells jury
- Lincoln grandad changes plea and admits murdering grandson