Life sentence for teenager who murdered teaching assistant

A 17-year-old boy who murdered a teaching assistant and then dumped her body in a wheelie bin must serve a minimum of 16 years in custody.

Rocky Marciano Price attacked Lindsay Birbeck, 47, in woods close to her home in Accrington, Lancashire, before he later moved her body in the bin to a cemetery where she was buried in a shallow grave.

The mother-of-two was discovered wrapped in two plastic bags on August 24 last year – 12 days after she went missing, which prompted a huge search by police and members of the community.

Price, of Whinney Hill Road, received a life sentence after he was found guilty at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday of her murder, exactly a year on from when she disappeared.

Lindsay Birbeck
Lindsay Birbeck (Lancashire Police/PA)

Mrs Birbeck left her home in Burnley Road, Accrington, for a late afternoon walk to a nearby wooded area known as the Coppice.

The keep-fit enthusiast had invited her daughter, Sarah, 17, and Sarah’s boyfriend for tea but when she did not return as planned her family raised the alarm.

Price always denied murder, but admitted to moving Lindsay’s body, saying that he was acting on behalf of an unknown man.

— Lancashire Police (@LancsPolice) August 14, 2020

Price, who was 16 at the time, had been on the prowl in the woods for lone females and is thought to have killed Mrs Birbeck shortly after she entered the Coppice.

His parents took him to a police station several days after Mrs Birbeck was found, when police released a CCTV clip of a young male pulling a blue wheelie bin behind him on Burnley Road.

The blue wheelie bin found in the cemetery
The blue wheelie bin found in the cemetery (Lancashire Constabulary/PA)

Price, who has autism and learning difficulties, admitted dragging the bin from the Coppice on August 17, with Mrs Birbeck inside, across Burnley Road to the cemetery.

But he claimed he was not involved in her death and that a mystery man had approached him in the area with the promise of a large cash reward if he disposed of the body.

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