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Killers aged 14 show no emotion as judge jails them for double murder

By Alexander Britton

A teenage couple believed to be Britain's youngest double-murderers have been detained for at least 20 years for the brutal "executions" of a mother and her daughter.

The boy and girl - both 14 at the time of the murders - had sex, shared a bath and watched four Twilight vampire films as they "revelled" after the stabbing of dinner lady Elizabeth Edwards (49), and 13-year-old Katie.

Both killers stared straight ahead as they were handed life sentences by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, who said the pair had a "toxic" relationship and acted in a "grotesque" way.

The male defendant, in a dark blue jumper and dark trousers, slouched in his seat in the dock as he was sentenced.

The court was told the boy, who admitted murder, stabbed both victims in the neck with a kitchen knife after attacking them as they slept at their home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in April. His girlfriend, who helped plan the "cold, calculated and callous" killings, denied murder, claiming abnormal mental function impaired her ability to form rational judgments, but was found guilty after a five-day trial.

Sentencing the pair, both now 15 but who cannot be named for legal reasons, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Nottingham Crown Court: "The killings were brutal in the form of executions and both victims, particularly Elizabeth Edwards, must have suffered terribly.

Addressing the couple - who had been likened to Bonnie and Clyde - the judge said: "There was remarkable premeditation and planning - it was substantial, meticulous and repeated."

"You were in it together from the beginning, you conceived of the killings together and planned it together. You then revelled in what you achieved. I see no reason to distinguish between you in any way."

Elizabeth Edwards' partner was in the packed courtroom, along with Katie's father.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Edwards' eldest daughter Mary Cottingham spoke of her heartbreak.

She said: "I cannot believe what has happened. I have been thrust into the biggest nightmare of my life."

Belfast Telegraph


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