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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 12:07 GMT
Twins get nine years for killing
Robert (l) and Jonathan Maskell
The brothers were not blood relatives of Anjelica Hallwood
Twin brothers who killed their step-grandmother while they robbed her of her life savings, have each been given nine year sentences.

Robert and Jonathan Maskell, and Dwane Johnston, were convicted last month of the manslaughter of Anjelica Hallwood, 74, in north London in January 2005.

The 19-year-olds, of Edmonton, got nine years for the killing and seven years for robbery, to run concurrently.

They were ordered to be detained at a young offenders institution.

The twins, who were not blood relatives of Mrs Hallwood, had believed she had about 3,000 at her home in Edmonton, the Old Bailey was told.

It is difficult to imagine a more despicable crime
Judge Gerald Gordon

They left their own 18th birthday party to go to her house with Johnston.

Johnston hit Mrs Hallwood, who was only 4ft 10in, in the face then pressed down on her throat before the trio got away with more than 1,000.

After leaving her house they bought a mobile phone top-up card and a kebab then returned to their party.

Passing sentence, Judge Gerald Gordon said: "It is difficult to imagine a more despicable crime."

Extended licence

"For reasons of pure greed and regardless of the effect on her, you set out to rob her.

"You could so easily have arranged to steal while she was out and safe."

Johnston had been staying with Mrs Hallwood. He was the boyfriend of her blood granddaughter and had just been released from prison for motoring offences.

The judge ordered that after their sentences had been served, their licence periods should be extended to three years so they could be recalled to detention if they broke their parole.

Speaking after the sentencing, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Tully said of the twins: "I certainly think they are immature and appear to have a lot of growing up to do.

"I'm sure the time they will spend in prison will give them lots of time to reflect on what they have done."


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