Britain’s youngest ever double murderers are to challenge the 20-year tariffs imposed for the killings of Spalding school dinner lady Liz Edwards and her 13-year-old daughter Katie.
The boy and girl, both aged 14 at the time when they carried out what was described as “brutal executions”, are due to appeal their sentences at the Court of Appeal in London on Thursday, May 4.
The 20-year tariff handed out to the girl is thought to be the longest ever passed on a British schoolgirl.
The teenagers were each convicted of two charges of murder in October.
The pair were dubbed “The Twilight killers” after a jury heard that after carrying out the killings they watched an episode of the vampire-themed Twilight.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, passing sentence, at Nottingham Crown Court ordered that they should be detained at her majesty’s pleasure.
In his sentencing remarks the judge described the case as “unique in the annals of English criminal history” and said that if the two killers had been adults they would have potentially been facing whole life sentences.
The judge said: “People who know the full facts of this case may struggle to comprehend how you both could commit this terrible and unnatural crime which has devastated families and a community.
“You were in a hermetically sealed world of your own of deep, deep selfishness and immaturity where only your feelings mattered and nobody else’s.
“There was remarkable pre-meditation and planning. The precise mechanism was planned and pre-planned several times. It was on any view substantial and meticulous.
“The fact that both defendants expressed happiness at what they had done is an aggravating feature.
“This was an entirely joint offence. You were in it together from the beginning. You conceived of the killings together, you planned it together, replanned it together and carried it out together step by step.”
During the trial the jury heard that Liz and Katie Edwards were the victims of “cold, calculated and callous killings” after being attacked as they slept in their home at Dawson Avenue, Spalding.
Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, said that they each planned to kill one victim but the girl changed her mind at the last minute.
Instead the boy stabbed both victims in the throat admitting afterwards that the plan was to aim for the voice box so neither would scream.
Mrs Edwards, 49, was stabbed twice in the neck with the force sufficient to cut or completely sever her windpipe.
Her jugular vein was cut and she died a short time later. She had suffered five knife wounds to her hands as she tried desperately to protect herself.
Katie, 13, had two stab wounds to the neck one of which cut a main artery. Her body was found with a pillow over her head and her death was due to a combination of blood loss and smothering.
The bodies were found after police broke into Mrs Edwards’ home in Dawson Avenue, Spalding.
The teen killers then watched an episode of the vampire-themed fantasy Twilight before having sex together.
The jury heard the pair were in a “toxic relationship” and a “ticking time bomb waiting to go off”.
The girl later told a psychiatrist that they had planned the murders and in the days leading up to the killings she sat at her school desk excited at the prospect of what they were going to do.
The girl admitted two charges of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility between April 12 and 15 2016 but denied murder.
The jury took just two and a half hours to convict her of murder at the end of a six day trial.
The boy admitted two charges of murder.
Neither can be identified as a result of a court order.
Both were 14 at the time but are now 15.
Take a look back at how the trial unfolded:
- Boy, 15, pleads guilty to murder of Spalding mum and teenage daughter
- Teens ‘stabbed Spalding mum and daughter through throat’ after planning murder at McDonald’s
- “Ten minutes for each one”: Girl’s chilling account of murder of Spalding mum and daughter
- “I felt like murdering for quite a while”, girl tells officers after Spalding killings
- Jury hears boy and girl had sex after grotesque Spalding killings
- Teen wrote defiant suicide note before Spalding mum and daughter’s murder
- Girl, 15, found guilty of murdering Spalding mum and daughter
- Disturbing Spalding murders left several lives in ruins, says police inspector
- Serious case review set for double Spalding murders by teenage couple
- Boy who brutally murdered Spalding mum and daughter has ‘personality disorder’
- Britain’s youngest double murderers to be sentenced today for brutal Spalding killings
- Spalding killers jailed for minimum of 20 years for murdering dinner lady and her daughter
- Spalding murders: Inspector hopes community can recover after ‘cold, ruthless’ killings
- ‘Victims must have suffered terribly in last minutes of their lives’, judge tells Spalding killers
- Jail terms for Spalding teenage killers ‘unduly lenient’