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19 January 17

Casefile - The Spalding Murders

Dinner lady Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and daughter Katie, 13, were smothered and stabbed while they slept at home in Spalding.

The male and female killers (who cannot be named) were both 14 at the time, apparently making them Britain's youngest double-murderers.

Sentencing them, the judge said it was "a terrible crime which has few parallels in modern criminal history".

The judge at Nottingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, said the case had "defining and particularly chilling" features, and condemned the killers' conduct as "grotesque".

Jurors heard that the killers went on to share a bath, have sex, and watch four Twilight vampire films after the murders in Dawson Avenue, Spalding, on 13 April.

The knife used in the murders - a black-handled kitchen knife with a 20cm blade - was found discarded in Katie's bedroom

Addressing the teenagers, the judge told them: "There is a clear intention to kill both victims - both defendants admitted wanting to murder them.

KFS’s lead scientist, from our Norwich lab, was called to the scene the following morning after the bodies were discovered.

In her words “I attended the scene while the bodies were in situ. In conjunction with the pathologist and the CSI, we made a plan to preserve any evidence on the body (one of them being partially clothed).  While the pathologist was dealing with the bodies, I worked around them to do my scene examination and interpretation and aid the CSI with looking at items found in the bathroom including a bag of knives. In interpreting the blood at the scene, I was able to say that:

• They were likely to have been assaulted where they were found;

• There was no indication that they had moved around the premises;

• Removal of the defendants clothing had taken place at the scene and they had made attempts to clean themselves;

• There had been attempts to conceal a number of knives in a bag.”

By the end of the scene examination, both defendants had made significant disclosures.  

Our lead scientist continues: “We then had a number of items submitted from the scene: A knife from the bedroom was linked to one of the deceased, and potentially link to the second, which addressed the order in which they were stabbed.  A pillow case from the daughter’s bedroom also had apparent fabric mark in blood and blood/DNA linked it to both victim’s again, indicating the order in which they were assaulted.  This was all in keeping with the Mother being killed and then the daughter, as disclosed by the male defendant. 

Clothing left by the mother’s bed in the scene were stained with both deceased’s blood and was in keeping with the male defendant assaulting both individuals.  There was no indication in the blood patterns on the female defendant’s clothes to indicate that she assaulted the victims; however, the information was that she was present but did not carry out the assaults. This was a difficult and emotionally-taxing case.” 

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