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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Murderer must spend life in jail
Mark Hobson
Mark Hobson was been given a whole life tariff
A former binman who murdered twin sisters and an elderly couple in North Yorkshire last summer will never be released from prison, a judge has said.

Mark Hobson, 35, had earlier admitted the murders of his girlfriend Claire Sanderson, 27, and her sister Diane at his flat in Camblesforth.

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

At Leeds Crown Court, Mr Justice Grigson said: "The enormity of what you have done is beyond words."

Sentencing Hobson to life in prison with a whole-life tariff, he said: "The damage you've done is incalculable.

"You not only destroyed the lives of your victims, but you devastated the lives of those who loved them."

Today brings about a conclusion to the most horrendous case I have had to deal with in my 22 years' police service
Det Supt Javad Ali

As the sentence was read out, the twins' mother, Jacqueline Sanderson, stood up in the public gallery and shouted: "Rot in hell".

After the trial, Mrs Sanderson and her husband George issued a statement in which they ask: "How could anyone be such an animal?"

They continue: "Claire and Diane did not deserve to die such horrid deaths, both ending up naked, with a plastic bag over Diane's head and Claire inside a black bag."

Speaking outside the court, Det Supt Javad Ali, who led the hunt for Hobson, said: "No-one who has heard the detail of these horrific crimes can be surprised at the severity of today's sentence.

"I believe it is totally right and fitting that Mark Hobson is never released from prison.

"For me, today brings about a conclusion to the most horrendous case I have had to deal with in my 22 years' police service.

"But for the families and loved ones the victims have left behind, today does not bring about closure.

Jacqueline and George Sanderson
The sisters' parents want Hobson to "rot in hell"

"My thoughts are with them and I can only hope they gain some comfort from the sentence."

The sisters' bodies were found on 18 July last year in the flat in Camblesforth.

The bodies of Mr Britton, an 80-year-old former Spitfire pilot, and his 82-year-old wife, were found dead by neighbours on the same day, 25 miles away in the village of Strensall.

The judge said Hobson had an abusive relationship with Claire Sanderson.

"And when you tired of her, you transferred your attention to her sister, Diane," he told the court on Friday.

"As Claire stood in your way, you murdered her. In my opinion, that was a premeditated act.

"You also determined to lure Diane to your home and kill her there and then to use her for your own sexual gratification before killing her and on 10 July you did just that.

"You battered Claire with a hammer in as brutal and callous a way as is possible to imagine before placing a plastic bag over her head and, having killed her, you wrapped her body in a bin bag.

"On 17 July you succeeded in luring Diane to your home. It is plain at your hands she suffered not only terror and pain but sexual harm before she died."

The string of murders committed by Mark Hobson

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

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