September Song JP Cooper
2 April 2012, 13:56
A Nottingham teenager who killed his mother after attacking her with a hammer before setting the family home on fire has been jailed.
Daniel Bartlam, now 15, was only 14 when he struck his mum Jacqueline Bartlam several times with a claw hammer.
He then poured petrol around her bedroom before lighting newspaper on a gas fire and setting the family home in Georgia Drive, Redhill, Nottingham, alight.
Jacqui Bartlam could only be identified by dental records, after her body was recovered from the blaze on 25 April last year.
In February this year, a unanimous jury found Daniel Bartlam guilty of his mother's murder.
Today (Monday 2 April) he was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years.
On sentencing the teenager, Mr Justice Flaux described the killing as "grotesque" and "senseless."Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Kate Meynell, who led the investigation, said: "The circumstances of this crime are shocking and difficult to comprehend.
"We know that Daniel spent time planning to kill his mum, and then executed his plan over night. He then attempted to conceal evidence and cover his tracks by making up a story that his mum had been attacked by an intruder.
"His account did not correlate with other witness accounts so Daniel was arrested. From his computer, we recovered a deleted story about a character called Daniel Bartlam who killed his mother in the exact same circumstances in which Jacqueline was killed.
"I have personally never dealt with something like this, and as a police officer this was an extremely shocking case, but the biggest impact has of course been on Jacqueline's family.
"The level of violence, degree of planning and extent of his lies is not only shocking, but it is also chilling that a boy of 14 could do this.
"You can only imagine the impact that this has had on Jacqueline?s family, and having spent time with them throughout the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings, I know this is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for them to come to terms with.
"This murder has devastated everyone involved. There is only one person who knows why it happened, and Daniel has lied consistently throughout, making attempts to besmirch Jacqueline's character. Everyone who knew her knew she lived for her children and was a warm, loving mother. Maybe one day Daniel will tell the truth, as there are several gaps that only he can fill."
Hear the family statement from the parents of Jacqui Bartlam, read by Nottinghamshire Police: