Youngest female double murderer jailed

Britain's youngest female double murderer was given a life sentence today for killing her father and a woman in separate incidents when she was just 15.

A judge said Lorraine Thorpe had been brought up "with no real understanding of what is right and what is wrong".



She was convicted of taking part with 41-year-old Paul Clarke in the murders of Desmond Thorpe and Rosalyn Hunt last August.



Ms Hunt, 41, was beaten to death in Ipswich over several days, with Thorpe responsible for kicking, punching and stamping on her head.



Mr Thorpe, 43, a "vulnerable" alcoholic, was smothered amid fears that he would tell the police about the first murder.



Thorpe, now 16, of Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, was told she must serve at least 14 years behind bars as she was sentenced at the Old Bailey today.



Mr Justice Saunders said she could be "manipulative" and was not acting entirely under Clarke's control, adding: "She found violence funny and entertaining."



Clarke, of Mountbatten Court, Ipswich, has already been jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years.



Thorpe became Britain's youngest convicted female double murderer after the pair's trial at Ipswich Crown Court, which ended last month.



Mary Bell, detained at the age of 11 in 1968 for the manslaughter of two boys aged three and four, remains the youngest female killer.



The youngest girl to be convicted of a single murder was Sharon Carr, just 12 when she killed trainee hairdresser Katie Rackliff in 1992.













The judge said Clarke was the "instigator" in the murder of Ms Hunt, also an alcoholic, although Thorpe "played a full part".

"She was responsible for protracted kicking, punching and stamping on Rosalyn, who was not fit to defend herself effectively from the outset. By the end of those attacks she was completely helpless.



"Far from being sorry, Lorraine appears to have gloried in it, describing to her friends at one stage how she stamped on Rosalyn's head."



Thorpe's father was a "hopeless alcoholic" and "very vulnerable person" unable to walk unaided or do anything for himself, and she was his carer.



"He died by being smothered to death," said the judge.



"The only possible explanation for his death can be the fear that he would go and tell the police what happened to Rosalyn Hunt."



Thorpe was influenced by being in the company of Clarke, the "dominant" member of a group of heavy drinkers, and would try to impress him, said the judge.



But he added: "I don't accept that she was entirely under the control of Mr Clarke. She is someone who can be quite stubborn and wilful and is capable of being highly manipulative herself."



The judge said the case was "exceptional" and said of Thorpe: "Her story is an appalling one."















The court heard that Thorpe's parents split up when she was 12 and she initially lived with her mother before going to look after her father at 13.

Father and daughter would move "from one squalid flat to another", sometimes even living in tents.



"She was spending all her time with middle-aged alcoholics to whom violence had become normal. It had become part of their way of life. The alcoholics fought with each other. They stole in order to get the drink they craved," said the judge.



Thorpe stopped going to school and stopped taking the medication she needed to treat her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).



"Social services were unable to keep track of her. When she was placed in a school, she escaped and went back to her father," said the judge.



All the evidence was that they "loved each other very much".



Through drinking they met Clarke and lived at his flat for a time.



Thorpe was growing up in "totally the wrong place and atmosphere to bring up a young girl", said the judge.



"She has been left with no real understanding of what is right and what is wrong," he added.



"No-one who heard the evidence in this case could doubt for a moment that she has had immense difficulties in her life.



"To describe her upbringing as not being a proper upbringing would be an understatement but it has left her as a violent young woman and a highly manipulative young woman as well."



Graham Parkins QC, defending, said: "Lorraine was vulnerable herself, both physically and in terms of her emotional well-being.



"It was highly inappropriate for this young girl to be playing a role of carer to her drunken and indeed very frail father.



"She never really had much of a chance in life."



Mr Parkins said there seemed to have been "little supervision" of her and she had been "left to her own devices".



News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn