A WOMAN accused of the murder of an army veteran in Andover has said she felt 'worthless' as a child.

Winter Swan-Miller is on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with the murder of Stuart Maxwell Crocker. 

The 62-year-old was found dead at The Signals, in New Street, Andover, on June 28, last year.

Police investigations found that Mr Crocker might have been killed in the early hours of June 23, but was only discovered five days later when a neighbour phoned 999 concerned for his welfare.

Edward Jones, of Lancaster Avenue, Walsall, is a co-defendant in the case for allegedly providing accommodation and social media access for Swan-Miller on June 23, 2023.

The trial has entered its eighth week, with the defendant allowed to provide evidence despite defence counsel Gurdeep Garcha KC informing the judge and jury last week that she did not want to take to the witness box. 

With the judge's permission, she has been allowed to change her mind after a week of 'reflection'. 

Swan-Miller told the jury: "Often in my life, I have not been believed, sitting here now is so petrifying because I am taking a chance people will believe what I am going to say.

"It is petrifying I thought that I couldn’t do it. I need people to know what happened, I need to tell my story."


The defendant grew up in Derbyshire with her mother. She said: "She was amazing, the best woman in the world. She was great. I felt safe with her. She was brilliant."

In the school holidays, her mother would drive her to Cornwall and Devon to stay with her father. 

She said: "He was not a very nice person. He would always say I was useless, and I was fat and I would never amount to anything. It made me feel worthless, that I was never good enough.

"He used to say that I was never going to be his little princess. I felt disgusting and horrible."

Swan-Miller stopped seeing her father after the age of 12 after he allegedly shaved her head. This is when she also stopped attending school, the court heard. 

She said: "I would not go to school because of how I looked. I became a child who did not care, I would not engage.

"[My mum] tried to get me to go to school but I fought and fought. She was very delicate and wasn't strong enough to make me go. I feel like I was failed by the education system."

The defendant told the court that she began taking drugs at age 14 to lose weight after her first boyfriend, who was 26, made her 'feel fat'.

In 2022, Swan-Miller told the court she would sometimes spend £500 on drugs after her mother, Blair, died. 

"I stopped taking weed and party drugs, I just wanted to be comatose. I moved towards crack cocaine and heroin."

It was at the time she began a relationship with John Hooley (JR), who Swan-Miller claims she bought drugs from. 

She continued "I just wanted to be off my face on drugs. He latched on to me. It was a way to escape.

"I wasn't me anymore. My mum was my world, we were best friends. We lived together forever. We both looked after each other. I just didn't want to be alive anymore."

After her home in Goddards Farm was 'smashed' by drug dealers, Swan-Miller moved to Andover with JR, which is how she met Mr Crocker, the court heard. 

Swan-Miller denies the charge of murder. The trial continues.