Elliot Turner jailed for 16 years for strangling girlfriend Emily Longley


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The Independent Online

A judge told a young man who strangled his aspiring model girlfriend in a jealous rage to put away thoughts of "champagne, Bentleys and girls" as she sentenced him to at least 16 years in jail.

Wealthy jeweller's son Elliot Turner, 20, was found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court yesterday of murdering 17-year-old Emily Longley in his bed after going "absolutely nuts".

The attack was the culmination of a month of anger and upset over his suspicions that she was "twisting his heart" by seeing other men.

He claimed during the trial that he acted in self-defence when Emily attacked him and he grabbed her by the throat for five or six seconds and then woke up to find her dead in his bed in Bournemouth, Dorset, in May last year.

His parents Leigh, 54, and Anita, 51, also face jail terms after being found guilty of helping to cover up the crime by destroying a confession letter from their son and taking away vital evidence after the killing at their home.

They will be sentenced later after being convicted of perverting the course of justice at the end of the five-week trial. Turner admitted the same charge.

Sentencing Turner, Mrs Justice Dobbs said he had "bullied, harassed, threatened and assaulted" Emily to control her as his "trophy" girlfriend.

She said: "Emily was a lovely, kind, fun-loving girl who brought a ray of sunshine to those she touched.

"That light has been extinguished suddenly and needlessly by you.

"You told your parents you loved Emily - you really do not know the meaning of love.

"Loving someone is not telling them they are a whore, it is not trying to control them, it is not threatening them, it is not slagging them off to your friends.

"You did not love her, she was just a trophy.

"The relationship, if it can be called that, was all about you. It was about control: control you carried out using aggression and threats.

"You could not be seen to be dumped by her and be seen to look like an idiot to your friends.

"Your arrogance towards Emily when on remand and during the trial has been breathtaking. Your lack of remorse is chilling.

"It is particularly galling you conducted an interview with a New Zealand paper in which you appeared to show no remorse.

"In my judgment it's apparent you had been thinking of killing Emily and it was only a matter of time before it happened because it's clear she wanted to be free from you and you would not let that happen - if you could not have her, no one else would do.

"You bullied, harassed, threatened and assaulted her.

"You can put away thoughts of champagne, Bentleys and girls and concentrate on the reason you are serving a life sentence."

Emily's mother Caroline, father Mark, and younger sister Hannah sat in the well of the court to hear the judge.

Mrs Justice Dobbs also sentenced Turner to nine months, to run concurrently, for perverting the course of justice.

Emily's father Mr Longley called Turner evil and said he hoped he would suffer every day in prison for killing Emily, who had come over from New Zealand to study at college just eight months before her murder.

Turner had a history of obsession with women and soon showed signs of jealousy towards Emily after they met in December 2010.

The short, volatile relationship quickly descended into violent arguments, with Turner threatening to kill his girlfriend on an almost daily basis.

The prosecution said Turner used a pillow to smother Emily and then strangled her after she went back to his house to talk things over following a violent argument that night.

Speaking outside court, Mr Longley said he was satisfied with the outcome.

He said: "We are pleased he is not on the streets now. He's an incredibly dangerous person and we are relieved he cannot do this again."

He added that the family could now move on and grieve for Emily.