Trio jailed over 'vile' murder
Three people have been jailed for life for the "vile" torture and murder of a disabled woman in a case described as a "chronicle of heartlessness" by a senior judge.
Chantelle Booth, 22, received a minimum 21-year sentence with Daniel Newstead, 20, jailed for a minimum of 20 years and Joe Boyer, 18, for a minimum of 16 years for the murder of 27-year-old Gemma Hayter.
Jessica Lynas, 19, was jailed for 13 years and Duncan Edwards, 20, for 15 years for the manslaughter of Miss Hayter, whose body was found in August last year on a disused railway line in Rugby.
Miss Hayter, who had learning difficulties and was disabled, was forced to drink urine, hit with a mop and beaten in a flat before being escorted to a disused railway line where she was stripped naked, beaten and had a plastic bag put over her head, the court heard.
Lady Justice Rafferty, sentencing the five, all from Rugby, Warwickshire, described the case as a "chronicle of heartlessness". "It is difficult to find the words to express how vile your behaviour was in August 2010," she said at the Old Bailey.
She said the disabled woman had suffered a beating so violent that a pathologist remarked on the severity of the breaking of her nose.
"She was hit with a mop or a broom. She was locked into a lavatory. She called out again and again for her mobile telephone, which was put down another lavatory to protect you by ensuring she could not get help," she said.
She said Edwards, of Rounds Gardens, Rugby, and Boyer, of Little Pennington Street, Rugby, had urinated into a can of lager and made her drink it. "I struggle to see how much lower you could have sunk," she said.
She added that once the beating had ended the group thought about how to protect themselves. "She had to be taken out of the flat, cleaned up so that attention would not be drawn to her en route. She tagged along, battered, in pain, and unsuspecting, like a faithful loving dog, as you walked her to her death."
Once in seclusion, the beating started again, and Miss Hayter was cut with a knife, kicked and had a plastic bag put over her head. "When she screamed, struggled and shed it, you replaced it. She choked to death on her own blood because of what, there and in the flat, you had done to her," the judge added.