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1995: Life sentence for Rosemary West

VIDEO : No reactions from West as jury return verdict

Rosemary West has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 10 young women and girls.

Justice Charles Mantell told Britain's most prolific female serial killer she should never be released.

West's victims include her 16-year-old daughter, her eight-year-old stepdaughter and her husband's pregnant lover.

The 41-year-old mother displayed no emotion as she was sentenced.

Her solicitor told reporters she would appeal against the verdict, saying adverse media coverage had prejudiced the trial.

Shocking evidence

Rose West and her husband, Fred - who escaped trial by committing suicide in his prison cell in January - were arrested in February 1994 during an investigation into the disappearance of their daughter, Heather.

They were accused of murdering 12 people over a period of over 20 years.

The verdicts from the jury of seven men and four women followed some of the most shocking evidence ever heard in a British court.

The court was told how the pair had subjected their victims to horrific sexual violence before they were killed, dismembered and buried beneath the Wests' house at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester.

Great stress

Jurors rejected claims by Fred West in taped police interviews that he was the sole killer and found Rose West guilty of three of the murders yesterday.

The remaining unanimous verdicts were reached at 1300 GMT after 13 hours of deliberation.

West will be sent to a special secure unit at Durham prison, where Moors murderer Myra Hindley is jailed.

Mr Justice Mantell praised the jurors for their conduct during the 31-day trial.

"You will never have had a more important job to do in your life - I am aware of the great stress it must have placed you under.

"You deserve my thanks and the country's for the part you have played," he said.

In Context
Rosemary West launched an appeal against her conviction, but it was rejected by Lord Chief Justice Taylor in 1996.

She abandoned another attempt in September 2001, saying she felt she would never be free, even if released.

Nine bodies were dug up from under 25 Cromwell Street, one was discovered beneath their previous home, 25 Midland Street, Gloucester, and two more were found buried in fields near Much Marcle, Herefordshire.

Fred West was due to face charges of 12 counts of murder before he committed suicide.

The pair remain among Britain's most notorious serial killers.


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