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Judge hands down life sentence for teenager who brutally killed his mother
A TEENAGER who brutally murdered his own mother has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Kieren Smith, 17, stabbed 42-year-old Leah Whittle 94 times at her home in Benville Road, Weymouth, on July 21.
Sentencing Smith at Winchester Crown Court, Judge Guy Boney told him he had “not shown a smidgen of remorse” and would serve at least 15 years before he could be considered for parole.
Dressed in the same black and grey tracksuit top he wore to hear his guilty verdict on Monday, Smith once again showed little emotion as he heard his fate.
Passing sentence, His Honour Judge Guy Boney said Smith had ‘taken the life of the very person who gave life to you’ in ‘the most brutal way as can be imagined’.
He said Smith had cut his mother's 42-year-old life short ‘significantly’.
The judge added that Smith and Ms Whittle had clearly led a ‘miserable’ existence in the flat they shared.
He said Smith had led an ‘unhappy and unfulfilling life,’ leaving education at 14 after assaulting a teacher and never having worked.
Judge Boney said he didn’t know where Smith’s fascination of knives had come from, but it may have been from the countless DVDs he had told the court he spent watching alone in his room.
He told Smith how he himself had openly admitted having a temper and that his mother was ‘scared to death’ of him.
Judge Boney said he could not determine whether the attack on July 21 had been premeditated but that ‘something had happened’ which made Smith lose his temper and kill Ms Whittle.
He added: “You rained down 94 stab wounds to her defenceless head and body. It was an attack which must have lasted over a minute.”
He said he believed Smith had blacked out in a rage, but that once he had calmed down he changed out of his bloodied clothes and escaped down the drainpipe. He said that since his arrest, Smith had done everything possible to clear himself of blame.
He called Smith’s offence ‘utterly dreadful’.
He added: “You didn’t get round to phoning the police until 1.04pm the following afternoon, about 12 hours after, and as soon as the police asked for details you immediately rang off.”
He said from the moment the murder happened, Smith’s ‘unerring target’ had been to clear himself of any blame.
Judge Boney sentenced Smith to a 15-year minimum prison sentence, minus the 143 days he has already spent in custody.
He told him: “I accept having seen you in this trial that you are not an emotional man but the fact remains you have shown not a smidgeon of remorse.”
Speaking to the Echo after the sentence, Detective Inspector Marcus Hester of Dorset Police said: “This sentence is clearly deemed appropriate by the judge for the protection of the public and hopefully some form of treatment for the various issued identified. At the same time, it is an appropriate punishment for the horrific crime he has committed.
“The judge clearly summed up my views with regards to this case.”
Nicholas Haggan QC, defending, said Smith’s motive for the killing was unknown, adding that the teenager, who has an IQ of 72 which puts him in the lowest four per cent of the population, was excluded from school after becoming disruptive, leading to drink and drugs problems.
He told the court the defendant had become isolated and shunned contact with others to avoid getting emotionally hurt, saying: “For the two years prior to the killing, the defendant spent it alone in his room watching DVDs. He led a very lonely existence.”
Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the defendant, who was 16 at the time, had an interest in knives and had a temper but said the reason for the murder would never be known. The youth denied the killing and said men came down from Doncaster to execute his mother because his brother had got into trouble over a drug debt.
Ms Whittle had moved back to Dorset after living in Yorkshire until her marriage broke down.