Private school pupil, 18, due to stand trial for murdering his mother dies at mental health facility


Private school pupil, 18, who was due to stand trial for murdering his mother in sleepy Hampshire village dies at mental health facility

  • Private school pupil Rowan Thompson was due to appear in court on Wednesday
  • The teenager was accused of killing his mother Joanna Thompson at their home
  • The 18-year-old died while being detained at a secure mental health facility
  • Thompson passed away over the weekend and his trial has now been cancelled

A teenager who was tomorrow due to stand trial for murdering his own mother has died in custody, it emerged today.

Private school pupil Rowan Thompson was due to appear in court on Wednesday accused of killing Joanna Thompson at their home in Hambledon, Hampshire.

But today it was revealed the 18 year old had died while being detained at a secure mental health facility.

It is understood the teenager passed away over the weekend and his trial has now been cancelled.

Mrs Thompson, 50, was discovered with fatal injuries to her neck at her home in July last year.

Joanna Thompson was found dead at her home in Hambledon, Hampshire

After her death on July 1 last year, Mrs Thompson's son was detained under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act

After her death on July 1 last year, Mrs Thompson’s son was detained under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act

After her death on July 1 last year, her son was detained under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act then given multiple assessments by psychiatrists.

It is understood he was being kept at a secure mental health unit in the Greater Manchester area when he died.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman today said: ‘The Crown Prosecution Service can confirm that the trial of Rowan Thompson has been vacated due to the death of the defendant.

‘Thompson was being prosecuted for an offence of murder.’

Winchester Crown Court, where Thompson was due to stand trial, said a short hearing will instead take place on Friday.

In June this year reporting restrictions preventing Thompson from being identified were lifted after he turned 18.

His father, Marc, has previously listened in to a court hearing via a video link.

At the time of her death, locals said the mother-of-two ‘was a lovely lady’ who enjoyed running.

Police at the scene at the time of the murder in Hambledon in July 2019

Police at the scene at the time of the murder in Hambledon in July 2019 

Among those to speak of their sadness was Caroline Vine, who knew her for years. She said: ‘I feel sick and so sad. She was such a lovely lady.

‘No one had a bad word to say about her.’

A woman in her 70s, who lived nearby, said: ‘She was very shy, very quiet. That’s why no one really knows what has happened or much about her.

‘She had a young son who lived there with her. There was a car that turned up each day to pick him up for school. If she had an older son, he didn’t live with her. It’s very sad.’

Hambledon, where houses fetch up to £1.6 million, is best known as the ‘Cradle of Cricket’ due to the formation of one of England’s first cricket clubs there in 1750.

It was home to England’s leading cricket club from about 1765 until the formation of the MCC in 1787.

Churcher’s College in Petersfield, Hampshire, where Thompson studied, was established in the 18th century. Alumni include England and Lions rugby star Tim Rodber.

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