Random killer who killed teenager in park jailed for life

 

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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada