Jurors in the trial of a man accused of killing both his parents have been told they must put all emotion aside when considering the verdicts.
Martin Ruddy faces two charges of murder after his dad Eric, 64, was bludgeoned and his mum Carol, 54, was strangled to death at their home in Elswick, Newcastle, last December.
Prosecutors claim married dad Ruddy, 29, carried out the killings and then staged a fake break-in so he could blame the deaths on intruders.
Ruddy, of South Tyneside, broke down in tears in the witness box during the trial as he repeatedly denied he killed them.
Judge Paul Sloan Qc summed up the case to the jury at Newcastle Crown Court today, and it will retire to consider its verdict tomorrow.
He warned the panel of 12 men and women: “A case such as this may very well give rise to strong emotions, strong feelings, perhaps anger, indignation or even disguse because of the nature of the allegations being made, because of the very fact two human lives have been taken.
“Perhaps sympathy, sympathy for the family and friends of the deceased, perhaps sympathy for this defendant becaue of the predicament in which he now finds himself.
“Such feelings, such emotions, are perfectly natural, they are entirely normal human emotions, but they do not assist you in deciding, and must play no part in your decision as to whether the allegations made in this particular case have been proved.”
The judge said the jury must “put aside any feelings or emotions” connected with the case and view the evidence dispassionately.
The trial continues.