NEWS

Man who beat mother to death gets life in prison

07/11/2013 06:14 EDT | Updated 09/10/2013 05:12 EDT
A Vancouver man who pleaded guilty to beating his elderly mother to death in a drunken rage was sentenced to life in prison today in B.C. Supreme Court.

Richard Glen Shields, 51, had been living with his 72-year-old mother, Ethel Fenotti, for seven years in a small Vancouver apartment near 12th Avenue and Main Street.

The court heard that Shields and Fenotti often argued about his drug and alcohol addiction and his obsession with hoarding, which caused him to fill her place up with scrap metal and old electronics.

Last May Shields was charged with second-degree murder after viciously beating his mother during an argument.

After the beating Shields called 911 and confessed over the phone.

Fenotti died of brain trauma and suffered several broken ribs.

Defence lawyer Phil Rankin says their relationship was dysfunctional.

"I think their relationship never severed from the relationship we have with our parents when we are five years old and we are kicking our feet and saying, 'I don't want to go to bed,'" he said.

"He just didn't lose that relationship with his mother. Living in her house and staying with her and not being willing to leave and not cleaning up after himself. I mean he was basically in many ways infantile."

Shields will be eligible for parole in eight and a half years.

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