A couple believed to be Britain’s youngest double murderers can be named after a High Court ruling as Lucas Markham and Kim Edwards
The pair, both 15, who convicted of murdering Edwards’ mother and sister in Spalding last April.
Markham and Edwards were both aged 14 at the time of the murders, had sex, shared a bath and watched vampire-themed films after the murders of dinner lady Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and 13-year-old Katie Edwards.
Now both 15, the couple were handed minimum terms of 20 years last November by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, who said the pair had a “toxic” relationship and had acted in a grotesque way after the stabbings in Spalding.
The identities of the couple could not be reported throughout a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in 2016 because of their age, but restrictions on naming the pair were lifted by three judges at London’s Court of Appeal.
The pair, who were both originally given 20-year minimum custodial terms, had them reduced by the judges to 17 and a half years each today.
The ban on naming the pair was lifted by Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice Blake and Mr Justice Lewis.
Sir Brian said: “In the circumstances of this case, notwithstanding that the appellants are only 15 years of age, we have no doubt that the lifting of reporting restrictions is in accordance with law, pursues a legitimate aim and is a reasonable and proportionate measure ... properly balancing the welfare of the appellants ... against the Article 10 rights of the press and the interests of the public.”
He announced that, as a result of the court’s decision, “the names of these two young people are now capable of being reported”, allowing reporting of the “full facts and circumstances” surrounding the case.
Both defendants were given life sentences for the killings, which were planned in a McDonald’s.
Prosecutor Peter Joyce told Edwards’ trial that her sister and mother were stabbed a total of 10 times in a “cold, calculated and callous” onslaught at their home in Dawson Avenue.
Mr Joyce told jurors that Markham walked for around 30 minutes along Spalding’s Coronation Channel to reach Edwards’ home before knocking three times on a bedroom window as a pre-arranged signal that he had arrived.
Edwards then opened a bathroom window to allow Markham to climb into the house from the roof of a shed, and gave him advice on moving quietly around the property.
After today’s hearing, Detective Superintendent Martin Holvey head of EMSOU –Major Crime said: “The judges have ruled that there is a strong public interest in the full facts of this exceptional case being known, meaning that Lucas Markham and Kim Edwards can now be named.
“The murders of Elizabeth and Katie Edwards were horrific and brutal and the whole country shared a sense of shock that two juveniles, who were only 14 years old at the time, could have carried out such a horrendous act.
“I’m sure that sense of disbelief and horror will be deepened now it is known that it was Elizabeth’s own daughter who was responsible for plotting with her boyfriend to carry out the murders.
“Evidence heard in court that was previously restricted can now be reported. These include details about the behaviour and actions of Kim Edwards and Lucas Markham afterwards, which was chilling. They remained downstairs in the house, watching TV and eating food, whilst the bodies were upstairs. They showed no remorse at all when they were eventually found by officers and during their police interviews.
“These new revelations about the case will undoubtedly focus attention on Spalding once again and I would like to repeat sentiments I have made earlier, thanking the community for their cooperation throughout the case and paying tribute to the courage of Elizabeth and Katie’s family. They have endured a terrible ordeal and faced the additional anguish of knowing that this horrific crime was committed by a family member”.
Lincolnshire police have now released transcripts of an interview with Kim Edwards after she was arrested.
In the interview, Edwards said she was ‘relieved it was done.’
She said: “Because my mum doesn’t have to deal with me anymore erm being like suicidal and she doesn’t have to wake up worrying every morning to see if I’m still alive erm and my sister doesn’t have to go through the heartbreak and and like and just all the emotions and stuff.”