A woman was jailed for life yesterday over the murder of a 13-year-old girl who was randomly stabbed to death in a park on her way for a sleepover at a friend's house.
Hannah Bonser, 26, was jailed for life for the murder of Casey Kearney and was told she must serve a minimum of 22 years in prison.
The teenager was stabbed with a kitchen knife by Bonser – a total stranger – in Elmfield Park, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, on Valentine's Day. She called 999 but only managed to say she had been stabbed. Medics fought for hours to save her but she died later that day of severe blood loss.
Bonser, from Doncaster, denied murder. She has a long history of mental health problems and cannabis abuse and her defence team claimed she is a paranoid schizophrenic. Her barrister, David Fish, asked the jury to find his client guilty of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility or lack of intent. But prosecutors argued that she suffered from a personality disorder not a psychosis and was guilty of murder.
Sentencing Bonser at Sheffield Crown Court, Mr Justice Cranston said: "Why did Hannah Bonser do this to Casey – a young girl, a complete and wholly innocent stranger?"
Speaking outside court, her father, Anthony Kearney, said: "No sentence will bring Casey back to us and the severity of Bonser's actions mean we will never have the privilege of her in our lives again." Detective Superintendent Terry Mann, from South Yorkshire Police, said: "We have supported Casey's family throughout. They have conducted themselves with the utmost dignity."
"We hope that they can now find some solace in the guilty verdict and begin to rebuild their lives."