Cumbria

Mother and sister killer John Jenkin jailed for life

Alice McMeekin and Kathryn Jenkin Image copyright Other
Image caption Alice McMeekin, left, and Kathryn Jenkin died in June 2013

A man who killed his mother and sister with an axe during a schizophrenic episode has been jailed for life.

Alice McMeekin, 58, and Kathryn Jenkin, 20, were found dead at a house in Millom, Cumbria on 8 June last year.

Preston Crown Court heard how John Jenkin, who admitted manslaughter, had tried to drown himself in a river two days before the killings.

Jenkin, 24, of Newton Street, was told he must serve a minimum of 12 years in prison.

He had been charged with murder, but guilty pleas to two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility were accepted at an earlier hearing.

Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption John Jenkin had tried to drown himself two days before the killings

The court heard how Jenkin took LSD, whisky and painkillers and tried to drown himself in a river before cutting his wrists on 6 June.

He was taken to Furness General Hospital for treatment where, following an examination by a psychiatric nurse, he was released.

He went on to kill his mother and sister at the family home in Newton Street two days later.

'Quick arrest'

The court was told that he had also killed the family dog.

Speaking after the hearing, Cumbria Police's Det Ch Insp Paul Duhig said it was "a particularly tragic case".

"The friends and family of Alice and Katie have been left devastated."

He added that he wanted to "thank the members of the public who called the police when they spotted Jenkin acting suspiciously, which led to his quick arrest".

A statement released on behalf of the victims' families said that "words don't exist to describe our feelings of loss".

"It has been a family tragedy on so many levels.

"Alice and Katie will always be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew them."

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