Girl jailed over OAP murder plot

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A teenage girl was jailed today and her sister given a youth rehabilitation order for their part in a plot to kill their 89-year-old grandfather so they could get their hands on his money.

The elderly man, who suffered from dementia and lived with his wife, was attacked with bricks at his bungalow in a village near Winchester, Hampshire, on November 15 last year.

Last month the pensioner's adopted daughter, 49, was jailed for 17 years and her son, aged 19, was given an indeterminate sentence in a young offenders' institution after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder.

The woman's elder daughter, 16, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and was given a 26-month youth detention order at Winchester Crown Court.

Her younger sister, 14, was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order after she was convicted of wounding with intent but acquitted of the conspiracy charge.

A third girl, the son's 17-year-old girlfriend, was also found guilty of the conspiracy charge and was sentenced to three years' youth detention.

The girls sobbed as they sat in the well of the court with their social workers when their sentences were handed down.

Sentencing the two older girls, Mr Justice Foskett said: "The very unusual circumstances of this case do not put you in the same category as a group of youths who go out armed with guns or knives with the intention of killing a particular individual or of anyone who has the misfortune to cross their path.

"Nonetheless, the essence of the offence of which you were convicted is that you were prepared to contemplate the death of another individual.

"Whatever your personal circumstances, that is something it is impossible to overlook.

"I cannot avoid a custodial sentence in your two cases."

Speaking to the younger sister, he said: "Despite your physical appearance, you are still very young and immature.

"I do not think the public interest calls for a custodial sentence in your case."

The judge described the three girls as "vulnerable" and under the influence of the mother, adding that they had acted out of "fear" of her.

He concluded by saying to the younger sister: "I express the hope that arrangements can be made for you and (the older sister) to maintain contact.

"You and she will probably need each other even more in the longer term than at present."

Sentencing the two adults last month, the judge called the attack "despicable and inhuman".

He said the plot and the attempts to kill the pensioner "will defy belief in the minds of any right-thinking person".

The family, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had launched a campaign to try to scare the OAP to death by smashing a window at his home and even cutting the fuel line of his car to try to make it explode.

During the six-week trial, the jury was told the man was lured outside his home by his daughter pretending to have fallen over. He was knocked to the ground by her son and hit with bricks by the two young girls.

The prosecution said the attack was the final act to kill him for his money even though he had generously given cash for cars and horses for the family, from Eastleigh, which had been squandered.

The man survived with cuts and bruises and was able to tell paramedics, who were called by his daughter, he had been hit. He is now in a residential home with his wife.

The court heard that the daughter came to her senses and stopped the attack and tried to tell ambulance staff her father had fallen, but the family was arrested.

In the weeks before, some family members researched how to kill him on the internet with Google searches such as "1,000 ways to die", "poisonous toadstools" and "easiest way to kill an old person".

The youngest of the family admitted she hit her grandfather with a brick but only "gently" and her mother, brother and his girlfriend had talked of killing him in the car on the way.