A Taranaki man has pleaded guilty to murdering his mother - despite claiming no recollection of the killing.

David Blake, aged 47, appeared in New Plymouth High Court today charged over the death of his mother, Stratford celebrant Gwen Blake, 71, on January 30.

Wearing a grey jumpsuit, Blake nodded when asked if he was pleading guilty. Justice Paul Heath said he needed to tell the court his plea and Blake said: "Okay, guilty."

A post mortem in February revealed Gwen Blake died as a result of a serious assault at her home in Regan Street, Stratford.


Justice Heath told Blake: "I am advised by your lawyer that you accept that the injuries caused the death of the victim.

"But the sequence of circumstances of the infliction of the injuries are unknown to you as a result of loss of memory."

Further evidence will be gathered by a forensic pathologist before sentencing on June 2.

A group of about 20 family and friends of Mrs Blake - some in tears - were in the public gallery.

Blake was represented by Paul Keegan, while Cherie Clarke was the Crown prosecutor.