Father who shot baby jailed for life

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The Independent Online
A YOUNG father who killed his former girlfriend and their baby with a sawn-off shotgun was jailed for life at St Albans Crown Court after changing his plea yesterday.

David Edwards, 22, changed his plea to guilty to murdering Marina Turvey, 19, having previously admitted manslaughter. His not- guilty plea to murdering their baby Charlene was accepted by the prosecution. He had already pleaded guilty to her manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, for which he was jailed for eight years, to run concurrently.

Mr Justice Schiemann directed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict on the charge that Edwards attempted to murder Jonathan Turvey, Marina's husband, when he confronted the family in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Earlier, the jury was told that Edwards cuddled seven-month-old Charlene, whom he had never before held, before laying her down and shooting her.

Edwards had told police of the troubles between himself and Mrs Turvey leading up to the killings. He said he shot her dead before snatching Charlene and driving to secluded woodland between Luton and Harpenden in Hertfordshire.

He told detectives: 'I finally had her, you know. She is my daughter like, and I finally had her to myself but everything was fucked up. Marina was dead.' He walked into a field where he was unable to prevent the baby crying. 'I shot her, didn't I? It's not that easy, but I shot her. I just laid her down on her front and I just shot her.'

Edwards, unemployed, of Limbury, Luton, said he was besotted with Marina but they had a stormy relationship and split up. He learnt that she was pregnant and asked her to have an abortion.

She had started going out with her former boyfriend, Jonathan Turvey, 24, when he came out of prison in April 1992. She married him and his name was put on the birth certificate.

There were a series of confrontations and the situation came to a head in April this year, when Edwards confronted the Turveys. Edwards told police: 'They just stood there like a pair of morons, like I was joking or something. Any sensible person would have hit the deck.

'I just saw red. I just could not believe they were standing there taking me on. I shot Marina. It should never have happened. I did not intend shooting Marina. I could have shot him if I wanted to. I fired over Jonathan's head when he was running away. He was five feet away. If I wanted to kill him I would have.'

(Photograph omitted)