Man killed his ex-girlfriend’s son, 19, before taking his own life

Man killed his ex-girlfriend’s son, 19, before taking his own life

Jilted lover, 57, on bail for attacking his ex-girlfriend bludgeoned her teenage son to death with a hammer as he slept before killing himself ‘to cause her the maximum amount of distress’Robert Goodwin attacked his ex-girlfriend’s 19-year-old son in Stoke on TrentThe killer was on bail for attacking Tania Morris at her home in August…


Jilted lover, 57, on bail for attacking his ex-girlfriend bludgeoned her teenage son to death with a hammer as he slept before killing himself ‘to cause her the maximum amount of distress’

  • Robert Goodwin attacked his ex-girlfriend’s 19-year-old son in Stoke on Trent
  • The killer was on bail for attacking Tania Morris at her home in August 2018
  • The 57-year-old killer had secretly cut a spare key to his ex-girlfriend’s house 
  • Goodwin took his own life in woodland near his ex-girlfriend’s house  

Murderer Robert Goodwin bludgeoned his ex-partner’s teenage son to death with a hammer before killing himself – ‘to cause her the maximum amount of distress’.

Goodwin attacked 19-year-old Nathan Bates as he slept at his home in Stoke-on-Trent, knowing the teenager’s mother Tania Morris would be out. 

Following the ‘sickening’ killing, Goodwin, 57, left the house and took his own life in nearby woodland. 

Nathan Bates, pictured, was found dead at his home in Stoke-on-Trent having been attacked by his mother's ex-boyfriend Robert Goodwin

Nathan Bates, pictured, was found dead at his home in Stoke-on-Trent having been attacked by his mother’s ex-boyfriend Robert Goodwin

Robert Goodwin, left, was on bail for attacking Tania Morris, right. Goodwin waited for Ms Morris to go out walking her dogs before sneaking into her home in Stoke-on-Trent and murdering her son before taking his own life in nearby woods

Robert Goodwin, left, was on bail for attacking Tania Morris, right. Goodwin waited for Ms Morris to go out walking her dogs before sneaking into her home in Stoke-on-Trent and murdering her son before taking his own life in nearby woods

Police arrived at Ms Morris's home, pictured, after a member of the public found Goodwin's body in nearby woodland

Police arrived at Ms Morris’s home, pictured, after a member of the public found Goodwin’s body in nearby woodland

Police believe Goodwin chose the spot for his own death as it was a location where Ms Morris regularly walked her dogs, meaning she would discover both bodies.  

At the time of the murder, Goodwin was on bail after being charged with assaulting Ms Morris – and had retained his liberty despite having breached a condition not to contact her.

DS Garry Jackson, from Staffordshire Police, told an inquest into Nathan’s death that the inquiry was one of the most upsetting he had ever worked on.

‘To attack a young man in the prime of his life, while he was asleep in the comfort of his bed, is sickening,’ said DS Jackson.

‘There’s no reason for what Robert Goodwin did. Nathan posed no threat to him. I can only think that this attack was carried out to cause Tania the maximum amount of distress – not only the attack, but the likelihood she would find Nathan and also find Goodwin, given where he was found.’

DS Jackson said Nathan was a keen Port Vale fan who was ‘obviously well-liked’, and was close to both his mother and father, Andrew, despite them having separated.

Ms Morris, pictured, was attacked by Goodwin on August 12, 2018. He was awaiting trial for the assault when he sneaked into Ms Morris's home to murder her son

Ms Morris, pictured, was attacked by Goodwin on August 12, 2018. He was awaiting trial for the assault when he sneaked into Ms Morris’s home to murder her son

The inquest at Cannock Coroner’s Court heard Ms Morris met Goodwin in 2013. He had lived with her and Nathan for two years before they split up – after he attacked her on August 12 last year.

Giving evidence at the hearing, DS Jackson said: ‘Goodwin assaulted Tania, resulting in her having hospital treatment. He hit her on the head with an ornament and tried to gouge her eyes out. He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

‘Following this Tania ended the relationship and he left the address, taking all his belongings and handing back his key. He then lived at the allotments off Bycars Road in Burslem.’

The court heard 57-year-old Goodwin appeared before magistrates charged with the assault, and was bailed with conditions that forbade him to contact Ms Morris. He breached these by sending her text messages and was arrested and brought before the court again on October 4 – but was bailed again to appear at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on October 12.

An inquest heard Goodwin had already breached his bail conditions by contacting Ms Morris on her phone

An inquest heard Goodwin had already breached his bail conditions by contacting Ms Morris on her phone

On October 11, Ms Morris left the house at 4.15am to walk her dogs before work, leaving Nathan in bed. She got home at 5.05am and left for work at 5.15am. She then sent Nathan a series of texts at around 6.30am – and tried to call him – to make sure he was up for work.

DS Jackson said subsequent examination of CCTV footage revealed Goodwin had left the allotments area at 4.49am, and could be seen walking along Waterloo Road towards Burslem wearing a high-vis vest and carrying a small bag.

He said: ‘He was captured on several pieces of CCTV. Quite chillingly, one piece shows Tania walking away from her address with the dogs and Goodwin approaching the address.

‘In a further sighting he nearly bumps into Tania, but then runs away and hides. She was not aware he was there.’

The last time Goodwin was captured on CCTV was at 5.10am, when he was seen going back towards the area where he was later found dead – evidence which suggests he had already killed Nathan by this time.

At 1.20pm, a member of the public found Goodwin hanged in woodland near to the allotments. Police attended and found a door key, a ‘large amount of money’, a mobile phone and a store card on his body. His coat and a bag containing his high-vis vest and a Leeds United football strip were also found.

Goodwin had blood on his face and hands, the vest and ‘blood and other matter’ on his trousers. Checks revealed his impending court appearance and at around 3.15pm, officers went to Ms Morris’s house to make sure she was safe.

They discovered the key found on Goodwin fitted the door of her house – meaning he must have had it cut without her knowledge – but did not go in until Ms Morris returned from work a short time later.

The inquest heard Goodwin had secretly got a door key cut in order to carry out his attack

The inquest heard Goodwin had secretly got a door key cut in order to carry out his attack

DS Jackson said: ‘Tania was told Goodwin had been found dead. They discussed the court case in the house. Due to Goodwin having a key, officers asked Tania if she could check if he had been in the house, or if a note had been left.

‘She made a check of the kitchen and nothing was out of place. She went upstairs and shouted to officers. A knife had been found on the landing and the door to Nathan’s bedroom couldn’t be opened.’

Officers then discovered Nathan’s body behind his bedroom door. There was blood in his bed and on the ceiling above, suggesting he had been attacked while lying there, then stumbled towards the door. He was pronounced dead shortly after 4pm. A pathologist found he died from head injuries.

Ms Morris, pictured, ended the relationship with Goodwin after he had attacked her with an ornament and bashed her over teh head with it as well'

Ms Morris, pictured, ended the relationship with Goodwin after he had attacked her with an ornament and bashed her over teh head with it as well’

Staffordshire Police launched a murder investigation following the discovery of Nathan’s body. The hammer used to kill the teenager – which had both his and Goodwin’s DNA on it – was later found in the garden of a property in nearby Lincoln Road, near its junction with Camoys Road.

South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh described Nathan’s death as ‘a horribly callous crime’.

Recording a conclusion of unlawful killing, he said: ‘Mr Goodwin still had a key to Miss Morris’s property. She was not aware of this because he had handed a key back to her.

‘While she was out, he entered the house and viciously assaulted Nathan, who is likely to have been asleep in bed, with a hammer.

‘Mr Goodwin then left and went to the wooded area again, where Miss Morris would commonly walk the dogs, and there he hanged himself.

‘This appears to me to have been a horribly callous crime and I’m very sorry that it should have occurred.’ 

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Man killed his ex-girlfriend’s son, 19, before taking his own life

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