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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Youth who killed nurse given life
Stuart Harling
Stuart Harling researched serial killers on the internet
A teenager who stabbed a nurse 72 times while she took a cigarette break has been jailed for life.

Stuart Harling, 19, was found guilty of murdering Cheryl Moss, 33, in woods behind St George's Hospital in Hornchurch, east London, in April 2006.

Harling, from Rainham, was sentenced in his absence at the Old Bailey after he refused to go into court.

The judge, Common Serjeant of London Brian Barker, ordered Harling to serve a minimum of 20 years in jail.

'Sought infamy'

Judge Barker said Harling had indicated that others might be hurt if he was forced to go into the dock.

The teenager had admitted the killing, but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Prosecutors said Harling was carrying out a long-standing fantasy.

Sentencing, Judge Barker said Harling had researched and fantasised about murder, in particular serial killing.

"The evil is that when you put your researches into practice, Cheryl Moss had the misfortune to stumble across your path," he said.

"Your destructive and deadly actions appear to have meant little to you.

"What you gained and what you seemed to have sought is infamy. This was a terrible and wicked attack.

"It robbed the community of a vibrant and contributing member with so much of her life in front of her."

'No remorse'

Harling's barrister Michael Wolkind QC said his client had not expressed any remorse for what he had done.

Mr Wolkind extended the sympathy "all normal people must feel" to Mrs Moss's relatives, on behalf of the teenager's family.

Peter Moss said in a statement read out in court his wife was loved and respected by all who knew her.

"Cheryl to me was everything," he said. "Cheryl had everything I was looking for.

"I knew I had found the person to spend the rest of my life with. I feel empty. All I have now are memories."

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