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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 15:09 GMT
Man guilty of murdering teenagers
Thomas Palmer

A man obsessed with violent horror movies who repeatedly used cannabis, has been found guilty of murdering his two friends in a frenzied knife attack.

Thomas Palmer was 18 when he stabbed Steven Bayliss, 16, and Nuttawut Meechao, 14, to death in Finchampstead, Berkshire, in September 2005.

Palmer, 20, of Blagrove Drive, Wokingham, admitted manslaughter but denied two counts of murder.

He was jailed for life at Reading Crown Court with a tariff of 20 years.

Palmer now will serve at least 18 years - he has already served two years on remand since the killings.

In a statement to BBC News, Sumintra Nadauld, mother of Nuttawut (known as T.Wood), said of Palmer: "This man is bad. I have no words for him.

No-one laughs any more. We go into Steven's room and expect him to be there
Janet Bayliss

"I'm unhappy about it taking so long to go to court.

"But now I am a little bit stronger and can listen to what goes on around me so I will know what happens to this monster that sneaks into my home and pretends to be my son's friend and then kills him when they go out to play.

"T.Wood's family in the UK will try to do something in his name and maybe I will join them when I'm stronger because I worry all those young innocent children out there don't know what life is about.

"They need to learn when they are very young that danger can stand right beside them; they need to understand how to stay safe, they need to know what to look for."

Steven Bayliss and Nuttawut Meechao
Steven Bayliss and Nuttawut Meechao died in 2005

In a victim impact statement, Steven's mother Janet Bayliss said she still had not changed the sheets on her son's bed.

"It's our only connection to him," she said in her statement, which was read to the court after the verdicts.

She said: "Steven was so noisy and full of life, rushing around, laughing and playing loud music.

"No-one laughs any more. No-one wants to be here any more. We go into Steven's room and expect him to be there.

"We feel we failed our son by only telling him to beware of strangers, not people he trusted."

Tom is not mad, he is bad
Gerry Pontet, Nuttawut's guardian

Police found the two schoolboys' bloodied bodies in woods. They had been repeatedly stabbed.

Palmer later told officers he carried out the attack after the two boys mocked him about his odd eating habits and his parents' divorce.

The court heard that Palmer had a fascination with knives, buying the one he killed the boys with from a local sports shop.

His girlfriend, Ruth Cunningham told police he watched only horror films and one in particular - a movie about a serial killer - became a favourite shortly before the killings.

During the trial, the court heard how his repeated use of cannabis probably worsened his mental state.

Murder weapon
Thomas Palmer used a knife in the frenzied attack

He told doctors after the killings that in the months before he attacked his two friends with a hunting knife he had started seeing and hearing things.

Medical experts for the defence told the jury that Palmer was in the first stages of schizophrenia but had not yet developed the full-blown disease.

Gerry Pontet, T.Wood's guardian, said: "There are some people who are just naturally bad. Unfortunately, we didn't realise it until it was too late."

Family video of the murdered boys

'It was the slaying of innocents'
20 Mar 07 |  Berkshire
Paranoia 'gripped killer's mind'
14 Mar 07 |  Berkshire
Father collapses in murder trial
13 Mar 07 |  Berkshire
Man denies murdering teenage boys
12 Mar 07 |  Berkshire

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