Catherine
Ms McDonald's son has been charged with her murderAvon & Somerset Police

Police in Somerset have arrested and charged a man with the murder of his own mother at a property in the village of Norton Fitzwarren, just outside the town of Taunton.

Police were called last Tuesday (30 September) when Catherine McDonald, 57, failed to turn up for work and her employers raised the alarm. When they broke down the door of Ms McDonald's home in Hilly Park they found her body. She had been stabbed and strangled.

Alex McDonald, 27, of the same address, appeared before Taunton Deane Magistrates' Court on Saturday. He did not enter a plea and spoke only to confirm his name.

According to a statement on its website by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, McDonald, who was remanded in custody, will appear at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday (7 October) charged with her murder.

Norton Fitzwarren
The village of Norton Fitzwarren in Somerset where the murder took placeGoogle Maps

There is some confusion over the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Mr McDonald. One local newspaper, the Mid Devon Gazette, says police found Catherine's body when they went to investigate a car crash on Wednesday, in which a car collided with a house, and this was when her son was arrested.

In a statement issued through Avon and Somerset Police Ms McDonald's parents said: "News has just been brought to us about the death of our daughter Catherine McDonald. It can never be easy to receive such information but to find out that a loved one's life has been ended in such circumstances, makes it all the harder to bear.

"Catherine was a dear daughter; we will miss her greatly and are working with the police to bring a speedy conclusion to their investigation. As a family we would ask the public to contact the police with any information that might assist, no matter how small or insignificant you might think it is."