[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 14:13 GMT
Killer Hobson loses tariff appeal
Mark Hobson
Four people died after Hobson went on a violent rampage
A former dustbin man who murdered twin sisters and an elderly couple in North Yorkshire has lost his appeal against his "whole life tariff" prison term.

Mark Hobson, 35, pleaded guilty to the murders of his girlfriend Claire Sanderson, 27, and her sister Diane at his flat in Camblesforth in July 2004.

He also admitted killing James and Joan Britton at their home near York.

His QC Jeremy Richardson argued Hobson's sentence should have reflected credit for his guilty pleas.

Hobson's case set a legal precedent because a "whole life" tariff had never been previously imposed on someone who pleaded guilty.

In a written judgement, Appeal Court Judge Lord Phillips said the facts of the murders were so horrific that a whole life order was inevitable, regardless of a guilty plea.

He did not deserve any compassion for pleading guilty, he didn't show any towards his victims
Mr and Mrs Britton's daughter, Catherine Wilkins

"No-one knowing the facts of the case could be in any doubt as to why the judge had given no effect to the guilty plea," he said.

The families of Hobson's victims said they were very pleased with the verdict.

The Britton's daughter, Catherine Wilkins, said her family felt a great sense of relief that Hobson would never be released.

"Mark Hobson horrifically and sadistically murdered four people without compunction," she said.

"He has never shown any remorse or given any explanation for his actions.

James and Joan Britton
James and Joan Britton had both been stabbed in the back

"Admitting his guilt does not change the fact that he is a callous, vicious murderer and his victims suffered horrendously.

"He did not deserve any compassion for pleading guilty, he didn't show any towards his victims."

The twins' parents, George and Jacqueline, said they felt justice had been done and thanked everyone involved in the investigation.

During his trial, in May this year, Leeds Crown Court was shown hand-written notes made by Hobson suggesting he had pre-planned the "horrific and chilling" murders.

The jury heard he also compiled a list of other potential targets, which included the twins' parents George and Jackie. Police feared he might strike again.

Sexual mutilation

As he sentenced him, the trial judge Mr Justice Grigson said: "You not only destroyed the lives of your victims, but you devastated the lives of those who loved them.

"The damage you've done is incalculable. The enormity of what you've done is beyond words."

Hobson beat Claire Sanderson to death with a hammer before luring her sister Diane to her death a week later.

He subjected Diane to sexual mutilation, possibly while she was still alive, before going on the run in July last year.

He then murdered house-bound Mr Britton, 80, and his wife Joan, 82, at their home, brutally beating them both with Mr Britton's walking stick before stabbing them to death.

Murderer must spend life in jail
27 May 05 |  North Yorkshire
Man pleads guilty to four murders
18 Apr 05 |  North Yorkshire
Lives of families left in tatters
18 Apr 05 |  North Yorkshire
Four deaths and a week on the run
18 Apr 05 |  North Yorkshire
Hobson a 'Jekyll and Hyde figure'
18 Apr 05 |  North Yorkshire
Man hunted for four murders
20 Jul 04 |  North Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific