Sun, 19 May 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Australian teen jailed for 14 years over UK woman's murder

Update : 13 May 2024, 18:47

A teenager who stabbed a British mother to death after breaking into her home in Australia has been jailed for 14 years.

Emma Lovell, 41, was killed when confronting two intruders in Brisbane on Boxing Day in 2022.

She had emigrated from Suffolk in 2011 with her daughters and her husband Lee, who was also injured in the attack.

The offender, who cannot legally be named as he was 17 at the time, pleaded guilty to her murder earlier this year.

He also admitted to three other burglary and assault charges. In the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday, Justice Tom Sullivan said the man - now aged 19 - had committed a "particularly heinous" crime against the Lovells, who he described as a "loving family" building a life for themselves in a new country.

"They were ordinary citizens enjoying their family life in their home where they were entitled to feel safe. What happened... violated that entirely."

Justice Sullivan noted that the offender had himself witnessed violence from a young age and began abusing drugs and alcohol at the age of 14 after the death of his grandmother.

However, his childhood of "deprivation" did not outweigh the seriousness of the offence or warrant leniency in sentencing, he concluded, ruling that the teen serve a minimum of nine years and nine months in prison before being eligible for parole.

Another teenager charged over the incident is yet to enter pleas, with his case listed for a hearing in Brisbane later this month.  The court heard that Mr and Ms Lovell had been woken by their dogs on the night of the murder, confronting the teenage intruders and forcing them outside of their house, where a struggle then broke out in the garden.

There, Ms Lovell was fatally stabbed in the heart with an 11.5cm (4.5 inch) knife.

Police and paramedics responding to the attack had arrived to find her two teenage daughters sobbing over their dying mother.

Medics performed open heart surgery on the front lawn of the home, but Ms Lovell died shortly after arriving at hospital.

The attack in the suburb of North Lakes, about 45km (30 miles) north of Brisbane, sparked community outrage and was among several cases which prompted the state of Queensland to controversially introduce stricter youth crime laws. Source: BBC

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