Two Lincolnshire teenagers who murdered Spalding dinner lady Liz Edwards and her daughter Katie were this afternoon (Thursday) given life sentences by a judge and detained at her Majesty’s pleasure for at least 20 years.
The sentences are the maximum that can be handed out to children. A decision on whether they can be named has been deferred for two weeks.
The boy and girl were just 14 when they carried out the murders at Mrs Edwards’ home in Dawson Avenue, Spalding, in April.
They will each be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure for a minimum of 20 years before they can be considered for release.
Passing sentence at Nottingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave described the case as a “terrible crime” with few modern parallels.
“They were stabbed in the throat and smothered,” Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told the killers as they sat in a glass-panelled dock.
The reason these offences were committed was, as far as anyone can ascertain, the two children became trapped in a fantasy of their own devisingQC Simon Myerson, representing the boy
The girl, now 15, was found guilty of both murders after a trial last month. The boy, also 15, had previously admitted both murders.
The pair showed little reaction as Mr Justice Haddon-Cave summed up his sentencing remarks.
The judge said the girl chose one knife to kill Katie but then changed her mind. The boy then selected the largest knife to kill Mrs Edwards.
“There was remarkable premeditation and planning, “ Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said.
He added: “Both victims were vulnerable at home in their beds.”
The judge added the killers had expressed “happiness” at what they had done.
He told both the girl and boy: “You were not 15 when you committed these murders.”
The judge told them he would sentence them both as children.
“It was entirely a joint offence,” the judge said. “Both of you could have backed out at anytime.”
The judge added the pair had “revelled” in what they did.
MONDAY, 12.52PM: Killer kids will be sentenced at 2pm today
Two Spalding teenagers who murdered dinner lady Liz Edwards and her daughter Katie will be sentenced this afternoon (Thursday).
The pair, who were both 14 when they carried out the killings at Mrs Edwards’ home in Dawson Avenue, Spalding, are being sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court.
The girl, who is now 15, was found guilty of both murders after a trial last month. The boy, who is also 15, had previously pleaded guilty to murdering Liz and Katie.
Prosecution barrister Peter Joyce QC this morning opened the case.
Mr Joyce said Liz and Katie Edwards were stabbed to death in their bedrooms after the boy took four knives in a backpack to the property.
It was planned that the girl would kill Katie but she changed her mind and the boy then carried out both murders.
Mr Joyce said there was evidence Mrs Edwards survived for a short time after the boy carried out the first killing.
He then moved in to Katie’s bedroom where there was also evidence that she had tried to move away from her attacker.
The girl gave a graphic account of the murders which was heard during her trial.
In his third police interview the boy admitted what he had done and agreed with the girl’s account.
Mr Joyce told the hearing: “He said he understood everything that he had done and he had wanted to murder them both.”
Offering mitigation before sentencing, defence QC Simon Myerson, representing the boy, said: “What he did was terrible. What the victims suffered was appalling.
“The reason these offences were committed was, as far as anyone can ascertain, the two children became trapped in a fantasy of their own devising.
“It’s inconceivable that had they been fully mature, had they not been subject of their own personality disorders, that these offences would have been committed by them.”
He added that his client and his girlfriend were “virtually one person”, and added: “We do submit that there was - because of their relationship and their age - an immaturity.
“There was a specific pleasure in the planning, not because of the result... (but) because they were doing things together.”
Andrew Stubbs QC, representing the girl, said his client was “still plainly coming to terms with what she has done.”
He added the couple were in a “toxic relationship” and were “almost playing chicken with each other” as they spurred each other on to commit the killings.
He said his client is “perhaps starting to show capacity for remorse and perhaps rehabilitation for the acts that she has committed.”
The judge, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave adjourned sentence until 2pm today (Thursday).