These are the faces of Merseyside men who have killed family members

A crime involving someone's death attracts the lengthiest of prison sentences for those convicted, but there's an extra layer of tragedy when it involves a family member.

This week Benjamin Moglione was given an indefinite hospital order after killing his stepdad by knifing the ex-police officer 17 times in his own bed with "no warning".

Fortunately such heinous crimes are relatively rare, which makes their impact all the greater when they do come up before the courts. Here, we have listed some of the most shocking recent examples of men killing family members on Merseyside.

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Benjamin Moglione

University student Benjamin Moglione killed his stepdad, Andrew McDiarmid, 64, by repeatedly stabbing him inside the family home on Oldfield Way in Heswall, Wirral.

Benjamin Moglione
Benjamin Moglione -Credit:Merseyside Police

Mr McDiarmid was a former detective inspector who served Merseyside Police for 30 years. Moglione, his wife's son, had been accused of his murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter midway through a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, having been suffering from postictal psychosis as a result of an epileptic seizure at the time of the incident.

Moglione's mum Alison called 999 at around 8.45pm on January 24 2022 and reported that her son had stabbed her husband. Emergency services subsequently attended the address and found Mr McDiarmid lying gravely wounded on top of the bed in the couple's bedroom.

He was said to have "sustained some 17 wounds to his body", 13 being stab wounds and "some described as incised wounds". George Cole KC told the court that a number of these injuries had been "inflicted with severe force".

Yesterday, June 27, Moglione was given an indefinite hospital order by Liverpool Crown Court.

Robert Child

Calculating killer Child was caught out by a screwed-up bus ticket as he desperately tried to cover his tracks.

He had developed an irrational dislike of his much-loved parent Janice, and together with increasingly desperate money worries, cunningly plotted to attack her and then plunder the 64-year-old's savings.

The 37-year-old turned up at his mum's home in Woolton and, armed with a hammer, rained down more than 30 blows on her body and head as she was lying on the ground.

He then used £14,000 of £25,000 from her bank account to immediately buy an expensive Jaguar car.

Child calmly walked away from the Kings Drive address, in March, and started to try and cover his tracks and weave a web of lies.

Jailing him for life, Judge Dennis Watson, QC, stated that Child's "merciless" killing of his own mother came from the fear his "sham lifestyle would collapse" if he didn't get the money he needed.

Mitchell Quy

Lynsey Quy disappeared from her Southport home on December 16, 1998 when she was just 21 years old.

Her supposedly devoted husband Mitchell Quy appealed for her to come home and even accused her of abandoning her children, even though he had killed her.

Quy - dubbed the "smiling killer" for his response to his wife’s disappearance - eventually admitted he strangled his wife to death before cutting up her body as her children slept in a room nearby.

He then, with the help of his brother Elliot, disposed of her body parts around their home town, but not before he led police and the public on an 18 month run around - including inviting the press into his Birkdale home and appealing for mum-of-two Lynsey to return.

In 2001, Mitchell was sentenced to life with a minimum of 17 years in prison, for strangling and then dismembering his wife’s body.

The remorseless killer has made several bids for freedom since then - in one case leading to more than 11,000 signing an online petition against his release - but so far parole has been denied.

Craig Smith

Brutal step-dad Craig Smith was sentenced to life for the murder of two-year-old Teddy Tilston.

The unemployed former labourer and bar manager struck the defenceless toddler to the stomach so hard the blow caused massive internal bleeding.

Twisted Smith called 999 on the afternoon of March 1, 2017, claiming Teddy had "swallowed water" in the bath and was not breathing.

But when paramedics arrived at the family home in Woodville Road, Birkenhead, they found Teddy was completely dry.

Smirking killer Robert Child
Smirking killer Robert Child

Medical experts later found the youngster had 42 visible injuries as well as a bleed on the brain suffered at least a week previously, as well as a previous internal injury to his abdomen.

Smith was convicted of murdering two-year-old Teddy Tilston and assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Teddy’s twin sister.

He was also found guilty of child cruelty to both victims, and was ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years behind bars.

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High Court judge Mr Justice Garnham, passing sentence, said: "The overwhelming probability, in my judgement, is that you hit Teddy as a result of a loss of temper by you.

"I cannot speculate what might have caused that loss of temper but something, probably something trivial, happened in that house that lunchtime that caused you to fly into a rage and strike Teddy Tilston."

An attempt in 2018 by the then Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, QC, to have Smith's sentence increased after being deemed "unduly lenient" was rejected.

David Pomphret

David Pomphret, 51, bashed Ann Marie 30 times over the head with a metal crowbar shortly after a shopping trip to Asda.

The Barclays bank worker was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of deliberately killing the 49-year-old victim.

The IT expert had claimed he had suffered a loss of control, and should only be found guilty of manslaughter.

David Pomphret, convicted of murdering his wife Ann Marie
Mitchell Quy

But a jury saw through those lies, and decided the killing was deliberate.

Dad-of-one Pomphret claimed he flew into a rage in the face of constant criticism and accusations from his wife Ann Marie, who he attacked at remote horse stables the couple owned in Burtonwood, Warrington.

Ann Marie suffered terrible injuries to her head.

Pomphret was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years in October 2019.

Richard Wallach

A man who left his wife to die in squalid conditions after neglecting her was jailed for eight years.

Richard Wallach, 67, failed to look after his wife, Valerie, 61, to the point that emergency services found her covered in maggots and flies.

He was found guilty on September 19 last year of manslaughter by killing Valerie through gross negligence after she was found to be severely ill and left to fester in an armchair in the living room of their home on Gwendoline Street, Toxteth.

Medical professionals said Valerie was found in the "worst condition of a living human they had seen".

Sentencing, Judge Neil Flewitt QC said: "You are a thoroughly selfish man, and in this instance your selfishness led to the death of your wife."

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