Prosecution shreds “adjustment disorder” defense in case of teenage sweethearts who ‘had sex and watched Twilight’ after ‘stabbing mum and daughter in their throats as they slept’
Elizabeth Edwards, and daughter Katie Edwards
A boy and girl, both 14,described as a ‘ticking time bomb’ are accused of stabbing mum Elizabeth Edwards, and daughter Katie in the throat as they slept so they would not scream
The teenage pair ‘had sex and watched Twilight’ after ‘slaughtering mother and daughter in their sleep’
Elizabeth Edwards, 49, who was found dead along with her daughter Katie, 13 in their Lincolnshire, UK home
The boy, now 15-years-old, admits two counts of murder, the girl, also now 15, admits to manslaughter but denies murdering Liz Edwards and her daughter Katie
Elizabeth Edwards, who was found dead along with her daughter Katie
The Nottingham Crown Court, UK court heard that a 14-year-old boy and his girlfriend, also 14 – who cannot be named for legal reasons – stabbed a mother and daughter in the throat as they slept so they would not scream, watched Twilight and had sex moments after murdering the home owners, a court has heard.
After slaughtering their victims, the murderous pair then ate tea cakes and ice cream in the victim’s home while watching vampire movie Twilight before they had sex in bed.
Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and her youngest daughter Katie, 13, were found dead in their beds at their home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, on April 15 this year.
The who suspects cannot be named for legal reasons, are teenage sweethearts described as being like “a time bomb waiting to go off” after they became “inseparable” in the weeks before the killings.
The boy, now 15-years-old, has become one of the youngest ever double murderers after admitting two counts of murder at Nottingham Crown Court. The girlfriend, now 15 as well on the other hand, has admitted manslaughter but denies murdering Ms Edwards and her daughter.
On the third day of her trial a jury heard how the young couple carried out their plan “to the letter” before they had sex together.
How the girl was “excited” at the prospect of murdering Ms Edwards.
She told police “I’d felt like murdering for quite a while” after she and her boyfriend killed the mother and daughter.
She said she and her boyfriend had “a grudge” against Elizabeth Edwards, and daughter Katie.
Katie Edwards, 13, was found dead along with her mother Elizabeth Edwards
Presenting a case for mitigation for the female suspect, defense witness and Child psychiatrist, Dr Indranit Chakrabarti, said that the girl’s adjustment disorder prevented her from forming a “rational judgement” and having the ability to plan”.
“She was thinking under the influence of a recognized medical condition”.
“She was unable to make any rational judgement and could not plan, these are symptoms of the adjustment disorder.”
Prosecutor Peter Joyce during cross went after the defense argument, stating that the female suspect’s ability to plan the heinous crime in detail and ensure that every one around her implemented the plan in order, as scheduled, gave a lie to the argument that she was handicapped in making rational decisions.
Mary Cottingham, daughter of Liz Edwards and eldest sister to Katie Edwards, arrives at Nottingham Crown Court
Peter Edwards, father of Katie Edwards, arrives at Nottingham Crown Court
He asked Dr Chakrabarti in the witness box: “She was thinking clearly enough to unwrap from the backpack the shirt with four knives.
“When [the boy] goes into the mother’s room she sees he’s deviated from the plan because she whispers ‘take your shoes off’.
“This is a girl who is thinking about what she has planned and what she is doing.
“When [he] goes in to kill the mother, she is there and hears it. She goes in and sees part of it. She was the one in control.
“They planned to have a bath afterwards, from the inevitable blood after the killings.
“The plan was clear and the plan was to kill two people. And the plan was carried out to the letter.
“They talked about the stabbing of each through the voice box so they wouldn’t scream.
“I suggest if you are going to stab two people to kill them and one is in a room next to the other, it is rational, clear, thinking to plan for the first one not being able to scream.”
Dr. Chakrabarti replied: “It is logical yes, but I would suggest it is not rational thinking.
“You are focusing on one aspect of the disorder.”
Peter Joyce QC said: “She felt excited about the prospect of killing. That’s right, isn’t it?
“She was excited at the thought of killing and looked forward to it.”
Dr Chakrabarti said: “Yes.”
Mr Joyce added: “She planned first to take a bath. She planned to watch Twilight.
“She planned to take the contraceptive pill. She planned to have sex, which they did, after the killings.
“They planned to get the drink in. They were able to cope.”
Dr Chakrabarti gave a different interpretation to her coping skills: “I disagree, she was unable to cope because of her mental condition.
“Her condition meant she was not able to comprehend because of the stress that she was under.”
House in Spalding, Lincolnshire, where the bodies of Elizabeth Edwards and her daughter Katie were found
When pressed on a definition of what is rational by Mr Joyce, the child psychiatrist responded: “Killing anybody is not a rational judgement in my opinion.
“In this case she lost self control. I think right from the moment she developed the disorder.”
Mr Joyce said: “No remorse, having sex, getting the drink in, watching Twilight – how does this all fit in with your adjustment disorder?
“The plan ruins your theory of loss of self-control, doesn’t it?”
“You know that Dr Phillip Joseph in his report doesn’t agree with you that she was suffering from adjustment disorder at the time of the killing.”
Dr. Chakrabarti said: “Yes, I disagree with that.”
The court heard that someone who knew the two killers said they were “a time bomb waiting to go off” on February 24 – just seven weeks before the murders.
Mr Joyce said: “[They] became inseparable. After she became inseparable from [him] it’s clear someone who knew them thought it was disastrous.
“A ‘time bomb’. That bomb went off in April.”
The psychiatrist replied: “Yes, that’s what I was trying to build up – a series of stressful events.”
Mr Joyce said: “Have you ever known anyone suffering from this to plan a killing?”
Dr. Chakrabarti said: “No, in outbursts but not plan.
“But violence is quite common in young people.”
The trial continues.
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