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Minimum 11 years for killer, 13

A boastful 13-year-old boy has been jailed for a minimum of 11 years for the murder of a woman mugged as she walked home from the pub.

Petri Kurti was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure - the equivalent of a minimum term life sentence for a youth, by Judge John Warner at Wolverhampton Crown Court today.

He was named following a ruling by the judge to lift reporting restrictions.

Judge Warner said that he had been described afterwards as "boastful and not caring less" but also later "crying, saying you had not meant to do it".

His victim Glynis Bensley was punched by the youngster and, as she went to the pavement, he stamped on her head on September 3, last year.

Co-accused Zoheb Majid, 20, of Cheshire Road, Smethwick, in the West Midlands, was jailed for 10 years following his conviction for Ms Bensley's manslaughter, and a seven-year concurrent sentence for robbery.

Passing sentence, Judge Warner said Kurti had been "effectively running wild" at the time, but demonstrated "criminal maturity" if not social maturity.

He handed the youngster, who showed no emotion in the dock, a concurrent five year jail term for the robbery - Kurti rifled his victim's pockets stealing cash and other belongings.

The judge, who heard that the teenager was "boastful" after murdering the vulnerable 47-year-old, told him: "CCTV showed you swaggering in front of others."

He added: "You come from a home where there has been a complete lack of boundaries or structure where neither parents understand the seriousness of your behaviour - they blame others.

"This reinforces your own clear reluctance to take responsibility for your own actions."

Kurti had been excluded from school and a pupil referral unit for his aggressive behaviour, and as young as he was, already had previous convictions for attempted theft, assault with intent to steal and battery.

The trial heard that Ms Bensley, who had just left the Seven Stars pub, was initially struck by the teenage defendant, who was then joined by Majid at the scene in Cheshire Road within seconds.

The pair turned their victim over, stealing property including a bracelet and cigarettes, and going through her pockets before she was stamped on.

Witnesses described how Kurti fled to a nearby park and was overheard talking about the attack.

Majid was also seen at the park and was overheard talking about selling a gold bracelet.

Both defendants were arrested within a week of the killing, which was captured on CCTV footage lasting around 30 seconds.

Kurti was given a minimum tariff of 12 years, but will have have to serve another 11 years and four months before he can be considered for parole due to time spent in custody awaiting trial.

Judge Warner told the pair it had been Ms Bensley's "enormous misfortune to cross paths with you" at 12.20am that night, resulting in her death.

Michael Turner, QC, representing the young killer, said in mitigation Kurti was "susceptible to the influence of older people" and his criminality should not be mistaken for maturity, adding he had some "learning difficulties."

Joe Sidhu QC, for Majid, said his client had played a limited role in the assault, but had expressed "genuine remorse" for his part - despite after the attack going to buy a bag of croissants at a local shop.

Commenting on the case, Martin Lindop, district crown prosecutor for West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "These two defendants had targeted Ms Bensley because she was a vulnerable female who was walking home on her own at night.

"Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Ms Bensley."

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Ridding, who led the inquiry, said: "It was clearly the joint intention of the pair to use violence on anyone they targeted - they were in it together as the CCTV showed.

"Ms Bensley was tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Our thoughts remain with Glynis' family at this time and we hope that today's sentencing will provide some help in their grieving process."

In a statement, Glynis' sister Dawn said: "We are a very close and supportive family and always look out for each other.

"To try and explain how Glynis' murder has affected us is very hard to put into words.

"Glynis was my only sister and best friend. I would describe her as my right arm and I thought we would grow old together."


From Belfast Telegraph