A 15-year-old teen who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this year was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, by a judge at Leeds Crown Court in England.
The Guardian reports that the teen, whose name remains disclosed due to her age, admitted to manslaughter in July, and appeared in front of the judge via video this week to hear her fate. As the judge announced her sentencing, the victim’s family sat in the jury box, watching while the teen clutched a soft toy and kept her head down.
“The level of danger to the public is high. In the circumstances of your continuing silence, the critical question is whether there is any reliable estimate as to how long that danger will continue.” Justice Soole said. “In this truly exceptional case, I have concluded that it is necessary to impose a sentence of detention for life.”
Some candles burn all too briefly, but while they do they bathe our world in beautiful light. <3 KATIE <3
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the teen killed 6-year-old Katie Rough, of Woodthorpe, York. Katie and the suspect were both in a field close to the victim’s home on January 9, when the suspect placed a gloved hand over the little girl’s mouth until she suffocated her. The suspect then started slashing Katie’s neck and torso before feeling the field.
An autopsy report indicated that Katie died from asphyxiation. The stab wounds occurred after the child had already died. The suspect left a 2.4 inch slash across the the victim’s neck and a 7.9 inch slash across her torso.
A witness, Mrs. Mills, noticed a teen playing with Katie on the day of the murder, but the pair appeared to be happy and not under any distress. Shortly after, the husband of the witness, Mr. Mills, saw the teen standing close to a nearby road, covered in mud. He took her into his home, thinking that the teen had been attacked. The suspect revealed that Katie was in the field still, prompting Mr. Mills to search.
“As Mrs. Mills took the girl into her house for safety, Mr. Mills ran to the Square. He saw Katie around 15 to 20 yards beyond the entrance to the field,” prosecuting attorney, Mr. Reads said. “She was lying on her back, her hands to the side and above her back. Her face was covered in blood. He attempted to find a pulse or signs of breathing but with no success.
The teen had apparently been taking a strong mental health medication, fluoxetine, and according to doctors, suffered from a psychosis episode just a month prior to the murder. Around 48 hours prior to killing Katie, the teen took to Instagram and posted the caption, “Mentally, seriously, not okay.” Prosecutors said the teen also thought that people were not humans, but instead, robots.
Since the teen pleaded guilty to manslaughter, she’ll be eligible for parole after serving at least five years. She’ll only gain parole if she can prove she’s not a danger to society, something the judge thinks would likely be an impossible feat.
[Feature Photo: Katie Rough/Facebook]