Son to face murder charge
Searching: Police in Bond Street. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

The 39-year-old son of a Mosman Park grandmother killed in an alleged frenzied attack in her house at the weekend will appear in court today charged with her murder.

Deann Jean Ashby was found dead by emergency services in her Bond Street home about 7pm on Sunday night.

She had significant injuries to her head and neck.

Neighbours said they understood the 68-year-old's husband John, better known as Jack, had gone away for the weekend, leaving Mrs Ashby alone in the house.

Nearby resident Sara told The West Australian she heard several chilling screams coming from the home shortly after 6.40pm.

"I heard a big bang," Sara said. "It sounded like somebody dropped a huge metal plate or something. It made a very high-pitched, loud noise.

"Following that, were two short, intermittent screams.

"Five seconds later, there was a third scream, so I thought, 'No, I'm going to have a check'."

The 23-year-old nurse said she tried to see if anything was wrong but could not see any obvious signs of distress.

However, throughout the ordeal she heard a male voice.

"(The voice) was more like a loud, booming voice, in a condescending tone," she said.

"It was quite loud and it didn't sound nice. Because of my nursing instinct, tone means everything."

Soon after, Sara heard sirens racing down the normally quiet Mosman Park street to the Ashby home.

Samuel Ashby, of Wembley, was later taken into custody by police.

Major crime squad detectives yesterday charged him with his mother's murder.

He is due to appear in Perth Magistrate's Court this morning.

News of Mrs Ashby's death left nearby residents shocked as forensic police scoured the property and street for clues yesterday.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, described Mrs Ashby as a meticulous and lovely woman who was enjoying her retirement.

"She was a beautiful lady," she said.

"Just a very stylish, elegant lady who was quite a reserved person. She was very nice.

"They were really lovely quiet people who had probably worked very hard all their lives and retired. It's very sad."

It is understood Deann and Jack Ashby moved to Perth from Esperance about 18 months ago after selling their Ashgrove merino stud in Cascade, north-west of Esperance, in 2010.

Their sons Samuel and Benjamin were involved in the running of the stud for nearly two decades after returning from their studies at Hale School in the late 1980s and 90s.

The couple, Samuel and daughter Emma Hannaford, wife of Ventnor Capital owner John Hannaford, bought a small farm in West Beach in Esperance in 2010 for them to live in but it is believed the Ashbys moved to Mosman Park to be closer to family.

The West Australian

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