A NORMALLY “even-tempered”

pensioner who battered his cousin to death with a spade has had his sentence slashed.

Roger Troughton, aged 75, attacked his 59-year-old cousin, Robin Troughton, with the spade outside Robin’s family home in Paynes Place, Bushley, near Upton, on Mother’s Day 2010 after “angry words”

were exchanged between the two men.

Mr Justice Mitting, sitting in London's Appeal Court with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, said tension had boiled over between the two cousins after Robin Troughton, who was mentally ill, made a mess of the family home.

Roger Troughton, of Wood Street Farm, Bushley, was working in the fields when neighbours asked him to come and help out with cousin Robin, the court was told.

He drove over to Paynes Place in his JCB, sparking the clash which ended in Robin’s death.

Robin suffered devastating head injuries in the attack, and died 19 days later. Troughton was jailed for life at Worcester Crown Court in February after he was convicted of his cousin’s murder.

The jury rejected his case that he acted in self-defence after Robin Troughton came at him with gardening shears, the Appeal Court was told.

Robin Troughton’s mother – 86-year-old Barbara – had pleaded for the judge to show mercy to her cattle farmer nephew, but the judge passed the mandatory life sentence and ordered him to serve at least 12 years behind bars.

But Troughton’s case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged that minimum term, which was reduced to nine years by Mr Justice Mitting, who noted Troughton’s advanced age and the “tragic and unusual circumstances” of the case.

Neighbours and community figures had come forward to testify to Troughton’s good character and his normally “even tempered”

nature”, said the judge.

He said: “Clearly something must have caused him to lose it on this occasion.”