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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Family death plot boy gets life
A 16-year-old boy has been jailed for life, with a minimum tariff of 15 years, for murdering his younger sister as part of a bid to kill his family.

The boy was 14 when he set fire to his family home in south London.

The Old Bailey trial heard he described plans to kill his family so he could be adopted by rich parents, in a note entitled Operation New Life.

His sister died from smoke inhalation while his brother survived being battered over the head with an axe.

His parents and 16-year-old sister escaped from the fire.

Operation New Life - kill family, lose memory, get adopted by a rich couple - it all starts
List found under boy's bed

The Old Bailey heard the boy said he was not popular because he did well at school and was a "Goth" who wore dark clothes.

His English teacher told police he was a model pupil who was expected to do well.

His parents described him as "a bit of a loner", but said he was very easy-going and fun to be with.

But the prosecution described a "chilling" list of things to do written a few weeks before the attack in April 2004, and found under his bed after the fire.

'List of deaths'

It read: "Operation new life. Kill family. Lose memory. Get adopted by a rich couple. It all starts."

He also named his parents, brother and two sisters on a List of Deaths.

He set fire to the house and attacked his sleeping brother with an axe, later telling police a gunman had forced him to do it.

Seven psychiatrists could not agree after examining the boy - his parents had not noticed anything strange about him.

But prosecution psychiatrist Dr Paul Chesterman said the boy was showing psychopathic traits, although a full assessment could not be made until he was 18.

Your plan was to kill four people - you intended to go from room to room and use the axe
Judge Richard Horne

The boy was also convicted of arson and of the attempted murder of his brother, who was left with a limp and learning difficulties.

He was sentenced to two 15-year concurrent jail terms for attempted murder and arson.

Old Bailey judge Richard Horne told the boy: "You have shown no shred of evidence of remorse, nor the honesty to admit your guilt.

"In my judgment, this was pre-meditated to a high degree. Your plan was to kill four people. You intended to go from room to room and use the axe."


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