A murderous mother who hatched a chilling plot to kill her eldest son has been jailed for 17 years.
Scheming 52-year-old Alison Murphy teamed up with Gary Murphy, 23, to try and end the life of his elder brother Tony, of Milton Keynes.
During a phone message exchange on the night of April 15 last year, Alison texted: “I definitely think he should be killed.”
In reply, Gary stated: “I’m fine with whatever as long as he dies.”
Around an hour later, suicidal Gary plunged a blade into his brother’s neck inside their mother’s home in Whitehaven, Cumbria.
He sliced the 26-year-old’s jugular vein and left him bleeding heavily from a deep wound.
Gary fled the house but was captured by police - covered in Tony’s blood and still in possession of the knife.
He later admitted an attempted murder charge.
Alison, who had called an ambulance and later nursed Tony back to health, denied trying to kill him.
She refused to accept playing any part in the attack.
But after a trial at Carlisle Crown Court late last year, a jury unanimously found her guilty of attempted murder.
Both she and Gary were sentenced at the court on Friday (March 10).
The court heard Gary physically carried out the attack with the ‘connivance’ of the siblings’ mother.
Alcoholic Tony had travelled from Milton Keynes – where he lived and worked – to stay with his mother in a bid to detox.
But in the hours before the attack he had drunk cider and became ‘paralytic’.
When 26-year-old Tony and his mother argued about that, she summoned Gary to the house and he arrived with a folding pocket knife.
Alison was upstairs at the time of the stabbing because, said prosecutor Francis McEntee, she ‘did not have the stomach’ to watch what came next.
“At first I thought he was hugging me, then I thought he was hitting me,” Tony said in evidence during his mother’s trial.
“I looked down and saw blood dripping on my trainers and on the floor.”
Tony, feeling ‘dizzy’ called his mother for help.
“When Alison Murphy returned downstairs it is clear even by her own account that despite Tony’s request for an an ambulance she prevaricated before calling for help,” said Mr McEntee.
Alison was said to have then been caught ‘in the horns of a dilemma’.
“The plan to kill Tony, it has to be accepted, had not been thought through with any sophistication. But the plan had failed,” the prosecutor stated.
“Gary clearly anticipated that his mother would assist, and was asking that she hit Tony with a hammer.
“At that stage Alison Murphy did not do anything further to progress Tony Murphy’s attempted murder.”
Tony was said to have lost a litre and a half of blood, having sustained an 8cm neck wound.
He was detained in intensive care and underwent surgery, but was released from hospital within days and made a complete recovery.
At a police custody desk after his arrest, Gary stated: “I intended to kill myself and my brother.”
The court heard he had been ‘fixated’ on “taking someone with him” as he committed suicide.
Initially that person was the Prime Minister. When his mother dismissed that idea as fanciful, he eventually settled on his older brother.
Reading from a victim personal statement in court today, Tony stated: “I feel like this whole thing has ruined my life.
“I blame Gary for what has happened and I feel sorry for my mum. I believe she is innocent.
“She didn’t send the texts to Gary planning the murder, and now she is in prison.
“I am hoping her appeal will be successful and she will come home.”
After the hearing, Tony spoke only to say: “I am shocked at how long the sentence was.”
The court heard Gary was deemed to be suffering from a mental disorder.
It was concluded he posed a risk both to himself and the public. As a result he was made the subject of an indefinite hospital order.
Judge Peter Davies said: “This is a sad case. The result will be a devastated family where the victim knows his brother and mother will inevitably lose their liberty for a considerably length of time.”
Jailing Alison, Judge Davies told her: “The jury concluded you instructed your son to kill his brother.
“You knew he wasn’t well. You knew he wanted to kill Tony in the past.”