Thursday, April 25, 2013

Woman who falsely accused teen of rape and led vigilante gang to torture and brutally murder him is sentenced

A follow-up to this story and this one:

A trio convicted of the brutal murder of Harold Hill teenager Luke Harwood have been caged for a minimum of 57 years, a court heard today.

“Psychopath” James Danby, the ringleader, was told he must serve 25 years before being considered for parole.

His accomplices, baby-faced Emma Hall, 21, will serve a minimum of 15 years, and her boyfriend Tony O’Toole, 30, was jailed for a minimum of 17 years, the Old Bailey heard.

Hall instigated the attack on Luke, who was left resembling the Elephant Man, before she drove the victim from where they all lived in Crow Lane, Romford, to playing fields where he was finished off by Danby and O’Toole.

Danby bragged about the orgy of violence and planned to pull Luke’s teeth out to prevent the body being identified

Hall went to a phone box and rang police when Danby said he wanted to return to the body to disfigure it

Judge Paul Worsley told her: “You played your part in taking Luke Harwood from the house to be killed and were due to return to the scene the following night in order to mutilate the body.

“I bear in mind your good character and the fact you alone had the courage to call the police, which led to the arrest of all of you, though you down-played your role.”

Hall was also convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice, but cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Danby was also convicted of causing grievous bodily harm, perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

He refused to leave his cell today.

The judge said: “James Danby is a controlling, manipulative and dangerous individual who manipulated others in the dock to support him in these dreadful events.

“He has shown no sign of remorse but only contempt for these proceedings.”

He added: “Luke Harwood was the subject of beating, punching and kicking for a period of some two hours which left footmarks on his skull and head such that he had the appearance of the Elephant Man.

“He was a vulnerable victim. He weighed only seven stone, was eighteen and no match for any of you, let alone a joint group attack.

“He was completely at your mercy - he had been rendered completely helpless.”

There were shouts of “yes!” from the packed public gallery as Danby’s sentence was announced.

Billy Duggan, 21, who was convicted of perverting the course of justice and conspiring to pervert the course of justice, was handed a two-year jail term, suspended for two years.

He sobbed and shook before collapsing in the dock as he was told he will walk free.