At a hearing in February Judge Alan Parker adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Cheshire, who he said he believed might pose a danger to the public.

The judge commented on that occasion: “I find it extraordinary that someone should attack their own mother, particularly a man of 66. He tried to strangle his mother and told her he was going to kill her and wanted her to believe it.

“I regard this as a most profoundly disturbing case. I want a psychiatric report.”

But following the adjournment, Judge Parker asked why there was still no psychiatric report. Martin Groves, defending, explained: “He’s privately funded, and he's not prepared to pay for a report.

“He would be prepared to co-operate with a report, but is not prepared to pay for it.”

If Cheshire had been eligible for Legal Aid, the cost of the report would have been met by the Legal Aid Commission.

But because he had savings of around £8,000 he did not qualify for legal aid, and therefore has to pay all his defence costs himself—including any psychiatric report, which Mr Groves said was likely to cost around £1,200.

Judge Parker said he did not see why the public should pay for the report, commenting: “He’ll have to be dealt with without one, but it seems to me the consequences might be serious.

“He may well have been acting as a result of a psychosis, but if there is no report, there is no report and I have to proceed on the basis that he was not suffering from a psychotic episode.”

Mr Groves pointed out: “He doesn't seem to care what happens to him, which is in itself worrying.”

And he said that Cheshire wanted to be sentenced without a report, and has indicated that if his family use his money, to which they have access, to pay for a report he will not co-operate with it.

But giving a further opportunity for a report to be prepared, and remanding Cheshire in custody, Judge Parker stressed: “I am not ordering the public to pay for it.

“I expect those who have the defendant’s best interests at heart to make the funds available.”