SPALDING MURDERS: Judge praises police, family members and press

A court sketch of the sentencing of a15-year-old girl (far left) and boy (far right) who have both been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in detention for murdering a mother and daughter in their beds as they slept. ANL-161111-102442001
A court sketch of the sentencing of a15-year-old girl (far left) and boy (far right) who have both been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in detention for murdering a mother and daughter in their beds as they slept. ANL-161111-102442001
  • Investigation was handled in an exemplary way

The judge in the case of the two Spalding teenagers given 20 year sentences for the double murder that shocked the town has paid tribute to police officers involved in the investigation.

The defendants, who were 14 at the time and are now 15, murdered school dinner lady Elizabeth Edwards (49) and her daughter Katie (13) in their beds at their home in Dawson Avenue, Spalding in April.

This has been on any view an exceptional and an exceptionally distressing case

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave

The boy admitted two charges of murder. The girl denied the murders but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. She was found guilty of both murders following a jury trial.

After passing sentence at Nottingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said: “I wish to pay tribute to all those who have been involved in these legal proceedings and the trial.

“I would like to pay tribute and commend the officers who attended the scene and were involved in the discovery of Katie Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards. They are PC Alistair Pullen, PC Charles Ferguson and Sgt Christopher Fletcher.”

The judge also paid tribute to Det Sgt Matthew Naylor and DC Mark Croft for their work on the case and to police family liasion officers and officers who interviewed the two 14-year-old defendants.

The Judge added: “I would like to pay tribute to Detective Chief Inspector Martin Holvey, the senior investigating officer, for the exemplary way in which he and his team conducted this investigation.

“This has been on any view an exceptional and an exceptionally distressing case.”

The judge paid tribute to family members who sat in the public gallery for their “quiet dignity” throughout the girl’s trial and the subsequent sentence of both teenagers.

The judge is to make a decision at a later date on whether he will lift reporting restrictions which prevent publication of the identities of the two killers.

After commending police officers he also thanked the reporters, saying: “I would like to pay tribute to the press for the difficult task which they have had and for the way in which they carried it out with skill.”