Spalding teenage killers' jail terms 'unduly lenient'

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

The 20-year minimum jail terms given to two teenage murderers who killed a mother and daughter are to be reviewed for being 'too lenient'.

Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and Katie, 13, died at their home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in April.

The Attorney General will look at the sentences given to the 15 year olds.

The case was referred under the unduly lenient sentence scheme and law officers have 28 days to decide if any action should be taken.

During the trial at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this month, the jury heard the boy and girl - who were both 14 at the time - had sex, shared a bath and watched four vampire films as they "revelled" after the stabbing of the dinner lady and her daughter on 13 April.

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The judge, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, said the case had "defining and particularly chilling" features, and condemned the killers' conduct as "grotesque".

He said: "The killings were brutal in the form of executions and both victims, particularly Elizabeth Edwards, must have suffered terribly in the last minutes of their lives.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Katie Edwards was stabbed to death after her mother

"Had you been adults you may have been facing the whole of your lives in prison for this double murder."

The court was told the boy, who admitted murder, used a kitchen knife to stab both victims in the neck.

His girlfriend, who helped to plan the killings, denied murder, claiming to be suffering mental dysfunctions but was found guilty after a five-day trial.

A statement from the Attorney General's office said: "We are unable to provide the details of who referred the case.

"The threshold to refer cases to the Court of Appeal is very high.

"A sentence can only be regarded as unduly lenient if there has been a gross error and it is significantly below the level that any judge could have reasonably imposed after considering the facts of the case."

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