Daniel Bartlam, 15, detained for mother's hammer murder

A 15-year-old boy who murdered his mother with a hammer and set her body on fire has been detained for a minimum of 16 years.

Daniel Bartlam had denied murder but admitted the manslaughter of his mother, Jacqueline Bartlam, following a row at their Nottinghamshire home.

Nottingham Crown Court was told she had been beaten seven times with a claw hammer, fracturing her face and skull.

A soap opera murder plot and violent TV clips were found on Daniel's computer.

Reporting restrictions preventing identification of the teenager were lifted by the court following his sentencing.

Mrs Bartlam, 47, was discovered by fire crews at her home in Georgia Drive, Redhill, Nottinghamshire, in the early hours of 25 April 2011.

Coronation Street

After being beaten, her body was then padded with paper, covered in petrol and set on fire, the court heard.

Daniel, who was 14 at the time of the killing, told police an intruder had killed his mother but detectives found a written "soap opera plot" on his computer in which he fantasised about his character carrying out a killing.

Image caption Jacqueline Bartlam was struck with a claw hammer seven times

The court heard he had been particularly interested in a Coronation Street storyline involving the character John Stape.

In the soap, Stape had murdered a woman with a hammer and then left her body in the wreckage of a tram crash.

It was also revealed Daniel had been watching violent horror films since he was eight and had viewed the film Saw hours before killing his mother.

The teenager claimed he had been provoked into violence when his mother called him "a freak" during their argument.

He was found guilty of murder at Nottingham Crown Court on 9 February.

The jury heard authorities raised concerns about the boy's behaviour in the months before the attack.

He told a counsellor voices were telling him to hurt people and that he had had visions of killing people, the court was told.

'Chilling violence'

However, several experts had concluded Daniel was not mentally ill and did not pose a risk.

Judge Julian Flaux described the killing as "grotesque" and "senseless" and said it seemed like the teenager wanted to "get away with the perfect murder".

Det Ch Insp Kate Meynell, who led the murder inquiry, said after sentencing: "The level of violence, degree of planning and extent of his lies is not only shocking, but it is also chilling that a boy of 14 could do this.

"You can only imagine the impact that this has had on Jacqueline's family, and having spent time with them throughout the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings, I know this is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for them to come to terms with.

"This murder has devastated everyone involved. There is only one person who knows why it happened, and Daniel has lied consistently throughout, making attempts to besmirch Jacqueline's character.

"Everyone who knew her knew she lived for her children and was a warm, loving mother.

"Maybe one day Daniel will tell the truth, as there are several gaps that only he can fill."

A statement issued on behalf of the family said: "We find it so hard to explain what we are going through.

Image caption Daniel tried to destroy evidence by lighting a fire

"There are no winners here because not only have we lost Jacqui, but we have lost Daniel too because of what he's done.

"We know it was the right result at court, but trying to understand how a boy you have loved for 14 years can do something like this is so difficult.

"To find out that Daniel planned to kill his own mother and then hear all the details, it is all so hard to believe.

"The most difficult part for us and something that only Daniel can answer is 'why?'"

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