A ROOFER from Exmouth has admitted killing his mother but denied her murder.
Andrew Cane, aged 30, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 63-year-old Linda Sheard but not guilty to murder when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court.
Simon Laws, QC, prosecuting, said the Crown did not accept the pleas and a date was set for a trial at Exeter on Monday, July 15.
The body of Mrs Sheard was discovered by her daughter Sarah Brown just after 7pm on July 11, 2012, at her home in Port Mer Close, Brixington.
She was described by those how knew her as a "loving mother."
Cane was living with her at the Brixington address at the time.
He was arrested in Gloucester three days after her death.
Cane worked for the Exmouth-based building contractors DJH Roofers, where his mother also worked as a secretary for seven years.
The death sent shockwaves through the quiet community, and flowers were left outside the semi-detached property by friends and colleagues who struggled to come to terms with the news.
Mrs Sheard's colleague Chris Wright went to lay flowers at the scene with a group of other workmates.
He said: "She was the nicest woman and was always happy to speak to you no matter what. She was very polite.
"We heard about her death on the news, then when we spoke to our boss and found out it was Linda.
"We are shocked – totally gobsmacked."
"We cannot believe this has happened. Everyone in Exmouth is in a state of shock about it.
"We felt we had to come down to show our respect for Linda."
Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, adjourned the case for trial and extended custody limits to allow Cane's continued detention.