Spalding murders: Teen killers challenge 'excessive' terms

Elizabeth Edwards and Katie Edwards
Image caption Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and her daughter Katie, 13, were murdered in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in April 2016

A pair of teenage killers given life sentences for murdering a mother and daughter have challenged their "manifestly excessive" minimum terms.

The boy and girl, now aged 15, were ordered to serve at least 20 years for killing Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and Katie, 13, in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Defence lawyers at the Court of Appeal argued the sentences were "wrong in principle".

The judges said they would give their decision "as soon as we can".

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The boy watched the proceedings via video-link as arguments were made on his behalf to Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice Blake and Mr Justice Lewis.

Prosecutors told the court the minimum terms imposed by trial judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave were appropriate.

The court said it will also give a ruling on whether reporting restrictions currently banning the naming of the teenagers, who were 14 at the time of the killings, should be maintained or lifted.

Sir Brian said: "These are life-changing events for so many people."

He said the "shocking events" took from the victims their "most precious possession, their lives" while the killings had also "damaged, if not destroyed" the lives of many others.

Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Police described the murder of Elizabeth and Katie Edwards as a horrendous crime

Mrs Edwards was stabbed by the boy eight times, twice in the throat, in a deliberate attempt to ensure her daughter was not woken by screams or cries for help.

Katie was stabbed twice in the neck with severe force before she was smothered by the boy.

The girl, who denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, was found guilty of murder by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court.

The boy admitted murder at the start of the trial.

After committing the murders on 13 April, 2016, jurors were told how the killers shared a bath together, had sex, and watched four Twilight vampire films

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave described the killings as "a terrible crime which has few parallels in modern criminal history".

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