Lincolnshire

Spalding murders: Diary said girl wished 'to be cremated'

Elizabeth Edwards and Katie Edwards
Image caption Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and her daughter Katie, 13, were found dead at Dawson Avenue in Spalding in April

A diary of a girl accused of murdering a mother and daughter said she wanted "to be cremated", a jury has heard.

The girl, together with her boyfriend, is accused of murdering Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and Katie Edwards, 13, when they were both 14.

Mrs Edwards and her daughter were stabbed in the neck at their home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in April.

The girl denies murder but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

At Nottingham Crown Court, the boy, who along with the girl is now 15 and cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded guilty to murder.

The court heard a pink diary was found after the pair were arrested in which the girl swore at the "world" and said: "I want to be cremated and I want [our] ashes to be scattered in our special place".

Addressing the jury, trial judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave set out a three-step process the jury must follow in order to find the girl not guilty of murder.

He said that to prove the defence of abnormality of mental functioning, the defence "must establish that all of the following three things were more likely than not".

Judge's questions jury must consider

  • "When [the girl] took part in the killings of Elizabeth and Katie Edwards is it more likely than not she was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning arising from a medical condition?
  • "Is it more likely than not the abnormality of mental functioning substantially impaired her ability to understand the nature of her conduct, and/or to form a rational judgement, and/or to exercise self control?
  • "Is it more likely than not the absence of mental functioning caused or was a significant contributing factor in causing her to take part in the killings."

He said that if the jury answered 'No' to any of the three questions then "your verdict is guilty of murder".

Mrs Edwards and her daughter were both stabbed in the neck as they slept by the teenage boy on the night of 13 April.

The girl did not physically take part in their killings but the prosecution alleges she "is as guilty of murder" as the boy.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Floral tributes were laid outside the property where the bodies of the mother and daughter were found

On Wednesday, psychiatrist Dr Indranil Chakrabati told jurors the girl had been suffering from a type of mental disorder, known as an adjustment disorder.

After the two women were stabbed, the jury heard the couple took a bath before having sex and watching four Twilight films.

They were arrested on 15 April after police discovered the bodies of Mrs Edwards and her daughter.

The trial continues.

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