Glasgow & West Scotland

Teenage girl detained for life over Holytown party murder

Conner Cowper Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Conner Cowper was attacked in a flat in Holytown, North Lanarkshire

A 17-year-old girl who murdered a teenage boy at a party has been detained for life.

The teenager was pregnant when she stabbed 18-year-old Conner Cowper in the neck in a flat in Holytown, North Lanarkshire, last April.

The girl, who was high on cocaine and alcohol at the time, has since given birth while on remand.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Arthurson ordered the girl to serve at least 16 years in custody.

He told her: "Your attack upon him was deliberate, brutal, unprovoked and entirely murderous, and this murder was committed by you at the age of 17 when you were still a child, while you were under the influence of cocaine and alcohol."

The trial heard claims that Conner had "fancied" the girl but she kissed another young man that night.

The Crown claimed she "loved being the centre of attention" and was trying to play the two men off against each other.

Image caption The street in Holytown was sealed off by police

But the girl, who is thought to be one of Scotland's youngest female murderers, exploded when Conner branded her a "stupid wee girl".

The teenager, who was expelled from school aged 11, grabbed a knife and stabbed him before fleeing the scene.

The jury heard the catastrophic puncture wound was 4in (11cm) deep.

She was convicted at Glasgow High Court last month but sentence had been deferred to obtain reports about her character.

Lord Arthurson had been told by defence advocate Tony Graham QC the girl had acknowledged that her actions had caused "devastation" and deprived Conner's family of their loved one.

But the judge said he had doubts about whether this was correct.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Conner Cowper died after being stabbed in the neck with a knife

He added: "I have been told that not only do you feel regret but you also expressed empathy towards the victim.

"However, as the presiding judge at your trial I saw nothing of that. Your demeanour was flat and disinterested and you didn't give out any significant appearance of empathy.

"You are a highly dangerous and unstable individual. The attack on Conner was deliberate, brutal, entirely unprovoked and entirely murderous."

Lord Arthurson told her the penalty for her crime was fixed by law.

He added: "It was a deliberate, brutal and entirely murderous attack."

'Nice person'

During the trial last year the girl denied murder and claimed she stabbed Conner because she feared he was going to hit her.

She also claimed to have been affected by a previous abusive relationship at the time of the fatal assault.

The court heard how the girl had only known Conner through Facebook before the party and told jurors he was a "nice person".

But the court heard how she left him to die while fellow party goers tried to save his life.

Officers found her nearby "laughing".

The trial heard how she later asked an officer: "Can I have my knife back? It is good for cutting onions."

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