Life for man who killed girl of five

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The Independent Online
A man who abducted, raped and murdered his girlfriend's five-year- old daughter in an act of drunken revenge was jailed for life yesterday.

Andrew Pountley, a 32-year-old pub disc jockey, was told by Mrs Justice Heather Steel at Manchester Crown Court that he was "and will continue to be a danger to women and children" and she recommended he serve at least 25 years.

The court was told how Pountley's jealousy of his lover, Josie Mahon, with whom he had had a turbulent relationship, boiled over on the night of 13 January last year. He went to her house in Oldham, and snatched her five-year-old daughter, Rosie McCann, from her bed. He drove her to his flat across town where he raped her before suffocating her and dumping her body in an alley 200 yards away.

The judge passed two life sentences on Pountley for the rape and murder, and a concurrent six-year sentence for the abduction. She told Pountley, who stood expressionless in the dock: "I am considering whether in your case life imprisonment should mean just that - life.

"I have decided, however, my duty to the public only extends to ensure that you will not be released from custody until the danger you present no longer exists, and to ensure no other child will ever suffer at your hands as Roselene did."

Pountley denied his crimes throughout the trial, at one stage even accusing Ms Mahon's 17-year-old nephew, Martin Joyce, of having murdered Rosie. Only after sentence was passed did the jury learn that Pountley had previously been charged with the attempted rape and the indecent assault of a 13- year-old girl. The charges were ordered to lie on the file.

It was also revealed that Pountley had previous convictions for the knifepoint robbery of a taxi driver and was facing assault charges in connection with an attack on a man who objected to music he was playing in one of his disc jockey stints.

The judge told Pountley: "This case has been about your anger and your urge to control and your urge to punish.

"On the night of 13 January last year, it is clear Roselene's abduction resulted basically from a jealous and wicked motive to punish the woman you regarded as your wife."

She said that the little girl had gone with him trustingly because he was, in effect, her stepfather. "What was in your mind as you took her from her home to your home we shall never know. But the evidence clearly shows what happened to her at your home was very, very serious indeed. The pain she suffered at your hands ... can only be imagined."

After Pountley was led away, the officer who headed the investigation, Detective Superintendent Ron Gaffey, said: "He had total disregard for this child. He has never mentioned her once in terms of what had happened to her during all our interviews with him. It was entirely about him and his escape from these charges."

Mrs Mahon was led away from the court by close relatives.