A MAN has appeared in court accused of murdering his mother who is believed to have died after falling from a balcony.

Robert Knight, 52, of the Fairway, Leigh, appeared in the dock at Southend Magistrates’ Court charged with the murder of June Knight, his 79-year-old mother who was being treated for end-stage Alzheimer’s at Langley Lodge care home.

Knight, who was dressed in prison-issued red jumper and trousers, appeared alongside a custody officer in the dock before the hearing began.

Once the hearing was in session, he spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

Prosecutor Kristal Penrose outlined the facts to the court stating: “The victim being June Knight was the mother of the defendant.

“She was receiving end-of-life palliative care for Alzheimer’s at the Langley Lodge care home in Westcliff.

“The defendant is her only son and regularly visited her, sometimes twice a day.”

The court heard on Monday he visited her as normal at the home in Imperial Avenue, Westcliff.

Later that night, Mrs Knight was found dead by staff after a fall from a balcony of the three-storey building.

The cause of death is not yet confirmed and a post mortem examination is due to take place.

Steven Levy, defending, said: “There’s no right to a bail application in the magistrates’ court.

“He will appear via video link at Chelmsford Crown Court tomorrow before Judge Gratwicke or Judge Lynch.”

Due to the serious nature of the crime, the magistrates referred the case to the crown court.

Chairman of the bench, Linette Brown said: “This matter cannot be dealt with by this court so you are to be seen at Chelmsford Crown Court via video link so you’re remanded in custody until that time.”

No plea was entered.

Police rushed to the scene late Monday night after being informed of Mrs Knight’s death.

The drama unfolded at about 10pm and a man was arrested at the scene.

Forensic officers were seen going in and out of the 29-bed care home yesterday which remains open.

A spokesman for the home said: “Langley Lodge Nursing Home can confirm that an incident took place on Monday.

"We are utterly shocked by what happened and we are cooperating with the police on this matter.

"We are providing support to other residents and their families.

“We will not comment further at this time.”