Teenager gets life for murder of 10-year-old girl at party

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The parents of a 10-year-old girl who was found dead at a Christmas party hit out yesterday at the wall of silence that prevented them realising the danger posed by their daughter's killer.

The parents of a 10-year-old girl who was found dead at a Christmas party hit out yesterday at the wall of silence that prevented them realising the danger posed by their daughter's killer.

Paul Smith, 18, an apprentice electrician, who was jailed for life after being convicted of the murder of Rosie May Storrie, had a history of violence and sexual assault on girls. The judge at Nottingham Crown Court said Smith had been planning to sexually assault the girl, who was found suffocated and half naked on a bed at his uncle's house in Normanton, Leicestershire. Rosie May's parents, Graham and Mary Storrie, said they should have been warned about Smith's three previous attacks, none of which resulted in charges.

Mr and Mrs Storrie said: "If there had been some honesty, even a quiet warning to watch Paul Smith, we would still have Rosie May with us right now."

Mrs Storrie, 42, who runs a nanny agency, added: "We feel that not only Paul Smith's parents but the parents of the girls [who were attacked] if any of those parents had chosen to stick their neck out and be accountable, then prevention could have occurred."

Smith, from Sedgebrook, Lincolnshire, who suffers from a form of autism known as Asperger's syndrome, was ordered to serve at least 14 years behind bars and disqualified from working with children for life by Mr Justice Astill.

The judge said: "I do not know if this disturbing part of your personality arises from the condition from which you undoubtedly suffer but I am sure that you are, and have been for some time now, a considerable danger to young girls.

"You made a determined attack upon this young child long enough and forceful enough to overcome the considerable struggle which she put up to survive, to prevent you from suffocating her. The principal aggravating features of this offence are that you killed a young child and your reason was so that you could sexually assault her."

David Watts, a solicitor, read a statement outside court on behalf of Smith's parents and said that they might appeal against the verdict. The court heard Smith attended the party at a house owned by his uncle and aunt, Ian and Sharon Smith, on 28 December last year. He was overheard talking to Rosie May as she played a computer game.

Mrs Storrie told the court that as Rosie May took off her fleece he remarked: "I feel like a sexual [being]." Later that evening, he was seen chasing her after she grabbed a can of Guinness from his hand. Within minutes, they had both disappeared and it was not until Smith was leaving the party that the girl was found face down on a bed.