22 May 2012

Longley boyfriend jailed for at least 16 years

11:08 pm on 22 May 2012

The boyfriend of a New Zealand teenager will serve at least 16 years in prison for killing her at his home in southern England.

Emily Longley was found dead in bed at Elliot Turner's house in Bournemouth on 7 May last year. The 17-year-old had been strangled.

Turner had denied the charge of murder, but admitted perverting the course of justice.

A jury at Winchester Crown Court on Monday convicted him of murder following nine hours of deliberations. The 20-year-old swore under his breath as the verdict was read out.

On Tuesday, Justice Dobbs sentenced Turner to a mandatory life imprisonment for the killing. He will serve at least 16 years in jail.

During the trial, the Crown said Elliot Turner strangled Miss Longley in a fit of jealous rage. It described him as a vicious, remorseless person, who manipulated his parents into covering up the crime.

The court was told that Turner was aggressive, controlling, and manipulative towards Miss Longley and the night before she died he went into a night-club with a lump hammer and had been making threats to kill her.

The defence said it accepted that Turner is boastful, possessive and obsessed - but that did not mean he was a murderer and maintained that he acted in self-defence.

Parents also face prison

Elliot Turner's parents Leigh and Anita Turner, aged 54 and 51 respectively, have been convicted of perverting the course of justice.

The BBC reports the couple helped cover up the crime by destroying a confession letter from their son and taking away vital evidence after the killing at their home.

They were convicted by a majority verdict of 10 to 2.

Both are out on bail and will be sentenced at a later date. They have been warned by a judge that they face prison terms.

Lack of remorse shocks Longleys

Emily Longley's parents Mark and Caroline Longley have been in Britain throughout the four-week trial.

Outside court, Mr Longley said he was still shocked by Elliot Turner's lack of remorse and had never even seen the slightest hint of remorse in the eyes of his parents either.

Mrs Longley told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme on Tuesday that she and her husband had no idea of Elliot Turner's personality and warned other young women to watch out for controlling, manipulative men.

Miss Longley had travelled from Auckland to study at Brockenhurst College in Hampshire. She was born in England and was staying with her grandparents while taking a course in business studies.

She first met Turner while on a double date in December 2010.