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Schoolgirl accused of murder bid 'studied serial killers'

Published 10/10/2016

The teenager denied attempted murder
The teenager denied attempted murder

A schoolgirl accused of attempting to murder her best friend has told a court how famous serial killers had influenced her plan to kill her mother and brother and to carry out a school shooting.

The teenager is accused of luring her friend to a quiet part of the Hampshire school grounds where she stabbed her with a kitchen knife, causing a minor wound to her chest on April 25.

Giving evidence to the trial at Winchester Crown Court, the defendant, who was 14 at the time of the attack, described how she had researched school shootings including the Columbine massacre and Anders Breivik's shooting spree and had gained some understanding of the motivation of the perpetrators.

She said: "I wasn't trying to justify what they had done, but looking at why they did it gave me more insight into their whole case."

The defendant said she had created in a private journal a "kill list" of pupils at her school with a plan for a school shooting but she said that it was "not a serious idea".

She said: "There was no particular person for the kill list, the names that were written down were very random, there was no-one I had a particular grudge against."

The defendant said that her plan involved starting at the English room at her school but she added that she later burnt the journal because she did not want people to find out she had written it down.

She said that she was then influenced by researching the serial killer Edmund Kemper to plan the murder of her mother and brother.

She said: "I was very much inspired by serial killers, one of them Edmund Kemper, I think he killed his mother.

"I do not know the motive behind it, they (mother and brother) were the closest in my life, I felt like if they were gone then nothing would be able to hurt me any more."

The defendant said that she had made cuts to her face on the night before the April attack to copy Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight movie to make her look insane.

She added: "I had this ludicrous idea if I did get arrested for whatever I did I would put in an insanity plea."

The schoolgirl said that she had planned the attack to make her numerous personal problems disappear and added that "it would make all of those smaller problems not relevant at all".

She added that she had carried out the plans to make her "stand out".

The trial has heard that the defendant became upset and started self-harming the previous summer after someone created false social media accounts in her name, leading to her receiving "rude and suggestive messages".

She told police that she had believed the victim had been responsible and she had targeted her because she "felt uneasy" about her. The victim has denied being involved.

The defendant, who is now aged 15, denies charges of attempted murder and wounding with intent. She has pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and possession of a bladed article on school premises.

The trial continues.

When asked by prosecutor James Newton-Price QC if she planned to do something "sensational" so that her name would become known to people, the defendant agreed.

She said that she was not interested in having an ordinary "life mapped out".

She said: "I wouldn't say that this means I thought my crime would mean I would have an exciting life, I meant like having a normal nine to five job and having a normal life didn't appeal to me."

After admitting carrying out Google searches about fatal stab wounds on the night before the attack, she added: "I know how bad this is and the searches how disgusting they are, there is no way I can comprehend myself killing anybody."

Saying she felt compelled to carry out the attack, she continued: "A very big part of me was disgusted at what I was thinking. I didn't feel very much in control of what I was doing."

She added: "I didn't want to, I felt I had to, I felt that within myself."

She admitted that she had contemplated killing the friend but had only planned to hurt her.

She said: "I never felt I would go that far and that's why I chose one of the smallest bluntest knives in the drawer."

The defendant, who in her police interview had said that she had heard voices in her head which told her what to do, said in court that this was not why she had attacked her friend.

The court has also heard she had previously sent a message to her friend stating that she would claim an "insanity plea" if she was arrested for a crime.

When asked if there was a voice, she said: "There was but I didn't say they made me do it. I'm not entirely sure, I think it might have been my own voice but the bad voices were manipulated into a third party voice.

"I am not saying the voice was the reason why I did it."

The trial continues.

Press Association

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