Galway Girl Ed Sheeran
11 July 2012, 16:32
A woman has been jailed for life for murdering a 13 year old girl in a South Yorkshire Park.
26 year old Hannah Bonser, stabbed Casey Kearney in a random attack in Elmfield Park in Doncaster, on Valentine's Day.
A jury at Sheffield Crown Court rejected Bonser's claim that she was guilty only of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.
The judge, Mr Justice Cranston sentenced her to life imprisonment, she will serve at least 22 years.
Bonser showed no emotion when the jury foreman returned the guilty verdict after two hours of deliberation. She sat in the dock looking ahead, as she has done throughout the week-long trial, surrounded by four prison officers.
There were cries of “Yes” from the public gallery which was packed with Casey's family. Her father, Anthony Kerney, appeared to wipe away tears.
Many in the gallery were wearing orange ties and scarves - one of Casey's favourite colours - in memory of the teenager.
Anthony Kearney speaking outside court, Mr Kearney said: “We think the jury has come to the correct decision in convicting Bonser with the murder of Casey.
“There was never a doubt in our minds this was a calculated and deliberate act and therefore deserves the maximum sentence our judicial system allows.
“However, no sentence will bring Casey back to us and the severity of Bonser's actions mean we will never have the privilege of her in our lives again.”
Casey Kearney was stabbed by Bonser - a total stranger - in Elmfield Park, Doncaster, on Valentines Day and died later in hospital.
Casey was heading for a sleepover at a friend's house when she was stabbed once by Bonser with a 16cm kitchen knife the defendant had bought earlier.
The teenager called 999 but only managed to say she had been stabbed. Medics fought for hours to save her but she died later that day of severe blood loss.
Sentencing her, Judge Mr Justice Cranston said: "Why did Hannah Bonser do this to Casey - a young girl, a complete and wholly innocent stranger?'' He said she suffered a "horrific death"
Bonser, of Cusworth House, Doncaster, had denied murder. She has a history of mental health problems and her defence team claimed she is a paranoid schizophrenic.
26 year old Hannah Bonser