A teenager who tried to kill a disabled girl by luring her to a secluded field in Sittingbourne where he stabbed her 100 times has been locked up for life.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was told he will have to serve a minimum of 10 years before he can be considered for parole for his ‘savage and brutal’ near-fatal attack on his 16-year-old victim. A court heard the defendant’s violent behaviour in July last year was ‘partly motivated by hostility’ to her disability.
In a cruel message six months earlier the then 16-year-old had branded her ‘a crippled b***h’, adding he would ‘rather s**g a dead cat’. He also carried out a number of sinister internet searches in the days before his murder bid and in the immediate aftermath.
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These included ‘how to kill with a knife’, ‘how to deal with killing someone’, and ‘the highest sentence for murder in UK’. He had also told a female friend he was ‘at the point of going through with it’ and had even thought about how to conceal the body.
After his arrest however, he denied any involvement in the attack. He claimed to have been with his girlfriend and watching the Zac Efron movie, ‘Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’.
In truth, he had arranged through a series of Snapchat messages to meet with his vulnerable victim in the early hours of July 22. He had even given her a piggy-back as they made their way to an area known locally as ‘the orchard’ off Highsted Road in Sittingbourne, Kent, and where he had chillingly told her ‘No one will hear us or see us’.
Then, without warning, he grabbed her around the mouth before repeatedly stabbing her to her face, neck, chest, abdomen, arms and legs. He then took her phone and threw it into a bush before insulting her and leaving her close to death.
But miraculously, despite such extensive wounds, the girl was found alive in a critical condition by a dog walker about seven hours later, Maidstone Crown Court was told. The boy, now 17, later pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
Said to have since been diagnosed with autism and a comorbid depressive disorder, he sat emotionless in the dock and accompanied by an intermediary during the sentencing hearing. Both his parents and the victim’s family were in court, although the girl did not attend herself.
Passing sentence, Judge Philip Statman said the reason the teenager had targeted a ‘disabled and vulnerable victim unable to fight back’ may never be known.
“You engaged in a savage and brutal attack upon her. You attacked her with a knife which you had taken to the scene,” he told the boy.
“I am completely satisfied that at the time of this offence and for some time before, you had a murderous intent in your head. She thought you were going out to have a laugh together.”
The judge also praised the victim’s bravery and resilience, and commended those who assisted her at the scene.
“I am absolutely sure that the combination of the police officers, her guts, her desire and will to live, followed thereafter by the skills of the surgeons, saved her life,” he added. “She fought for her life and she won.”
Judge Statman said the defendant had since shown signs of remorse, was engaging well in custody and benefiting from medication.
The court heard the girl had secretly met the teenager on three previous occasions that year, and it was around midnight on July 22 that she sneaked out of her house to meet him again at his request. She later told police that as they walked along, the boy often in front of her and carrying a rucksack, they were ‘having a laugh’ and she noticed nothing untoward.
However, once at the field he made an excuse he needed the toilet and briefly disappeared, said prosecutor Martin Yale. It was on his return, without his bag, that he launched his knife attack.
“He grabbed her by the mouth and began repeatedly stabbing her all over her body,” said Mr Yale. “She assumed it went on for about two or three minutes. She described his face as looking evil and she was trying to scream for help.
“When he stopped attacking her, she fell to the ground, he took her phone and threw it under a bush. Thereafter, he left her for dead, alone in the orchard and bleeding from in the region of 100 wounds.
“She heard sounds in the bushes and thought he was watching her. Then she lost consciousness and the next thing she remembers was waking up in hospital.”
It was not until just after 7am that she was discovered and the emergency services called. She required surgical intervention and a blood transfusion at the scene before being airlifted to London’s King’s College Hospital.
The knife wounds had caused damage to her liver, lung, pancreas and kidney, and narrowly avoided major arteries in her neck, chest and abdomen. Injuries to her arms and legs were said to be consistent with her desperately trying to fight her attacker off.
“Had she not received medical intervention and resuscitation when she did, it was more likely than not that the injuries would have proved fatal within a short period of time,” Mr Yale told the court.
The teenager had to undergo further surgery at hospital, requiring multiple transfusions, and was placed in an induced coma to aid her recovery. She was discharged the following month and, as well as the physical pain and scars she has been left with, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The court heard that her mother contacted friends on waking to find her daughter missing that morning, and even spoke to her attacker.
“He told her he had been with his girlfriend and didn’t know the whereabouts of her daughter,” said the prosecutor. “But he seemed defensive and said everyone would blame him.”
The boy was arrested that day but he chose not to answer any questions when interviewed by police. On his remand into custody he revealed his ‘hate’ for the victim but still maintained he was not responsible.
“He said he was in bed watching The Ted Bundy Tapes when she was stabbed, which ‘would not make his situation look good’,” Mr Yale told the court.
However, police later discovered his sinister message exchanges and online searches, as well as the victim’s DNA on his blood-stained jogging bottoms and leather jacket. Just four days prior to the attempted murder, he had also confessed to a friend he was ‘at the point of going through with it’.
“He said he had already packed his bag with a knife, hammer and spare clothes in case he got blood on those he was wearing, and had even thought about how to hide the body,” said the prosecutor.
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He met up with friends and his girlfriend within an hour of the attempted murder, and was described as ‘behaving strangely and anxious’. Reference in court was also made to ‘most disturbing’ and violent video clips found on his phone.
But while they did not result in further charges, Judge Statman said he did not accept the defence argument that their downloading was ‘usual teenage conduct’.
The court heard the defendant, who has no previous convictions, struggled with his mental health prior to the knife attack and caused his parents such concern they had sought professional help. His low mood and sense of isolation had also been exacerbated by the pandemic lockdown, said Tana Adkin QC, defending.
She told the court the boy was becoming more irritable and anxious, spoke about ending his life, and would take a knife to his bedroom. He spoke to health professionals himself but just two months before he attacked the girl, his mother was told by social care services to ring the police when he threatened to kill himself.
Ms Adkin said his parents ‘did all they could’ and it was not until after his arrest that his conditions were diagnosed.
“Both are significant mental health issues which may provide some explanation why it would be that a 16-year-old would behave in such an extreme way having not been in trouble before,” she told the court.
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Article Source: Kent Live