Teenagers who murdered a mother and daughter to be sentenced

Updated: 

A judge is due to sentence a teenage couple who murdered a mother and daughter in a "senseless and unprovoked" knife attack.

The schoolgirl and her boyfriend, both aged 15, face automatic life sentences for killing dinner lady Elizabeth Edwards and 13-year-old Katie Edwards.

A five-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court heard that both killers were aged just 14 when they planned and carried out the killings "to the letter" at the victims' home in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

The girl was found guilty of two counts of murder last month after jurors rejected her claim of diminished responsibility, while her boyfriend pleaded guilty on the first day of the trial.

Jurors were told the sweethearts - thought to be the youngest defendants to be convicted of double murder in a British court - shared a bath, had sex, and watched four vampire-themed Twilight films after the killings.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC said the victims were stabbed a total of 10 times in a "cold, calculated and callous" pre-planned attack.

In police interviews a day after her arrest, the girl said her boyfriend had knifed Ms Edwards through the voice box to ensure her daughter was not woken by screams or cries for help.

Police found the bodies of Ms Edwards and her daughter on April 15 this year when three officers forced their way into their house in Dawson Avenue, Spalding.

Post-mortem examinations found signs of defensive injuries on the older victim's hands, suggesting she had tried to fight off the boy, while her daughter had been stabbed twice in the neck.

The defendants, who cannot be named because of their age, will be sentenced by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave on Thursday.