From Aaron Campbell to Jon Venables, the child murderers whose crimes were so horrific they were named by the courts

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From Aaron Campbell to Jon Venables, the child murderers whose crimes were so horrific they were named by the courts



IN a rare legal decision, the twisted teenage killer of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has been unmasked.
Ordinarily, court orders protect the identity of those under 18, but a judge lifted these restrictions,  identifying Aaron Campbell, 16, because he “couldn’t think of a case in recent times that has attracted such revulsion.”
Aaron Campbell has been named as the killer of Alesha MacPhail
Children under 18 are normally protected by anonymity as they are deemed to be vulnerable and it’s believed that in doing so, they stand a better chance of rehabilitation after.
However a judge can decide if young offenders should be identified in some circumstances, with a particularly horrific crime being one of them.
In this instance, baby-faced Campbell snatched Alesha from the bed where she was sleeping on the Isle of Bute in July last year, before raping her, inflicting 117 “catastrophic injuries” on her then killing her and dumping her naked body in woodland.
As he faces a life sentence for Alesha’s murder, he joins six other notorious young killers – including  Jon Venables who brutally murdered toddler Jamie Bulger and William Cornick who stabbed his teacher to death – whose crimes are so horrendous that the courts waived their right to anonymity.
The 16 year old is facing life imprisonment
He raped and inflicted 117 injuries on 6 year old Alesha
Alesha MacPhail killer Aaron Campbell caught by his mother’s CCTV the night he murdered the six-year-old girl
Kim Edwards and Lucas Markham: the Twilight killers
Mum and daughter Elizabeth, 49, and Katie Edwards, 13, were brutally murdered in their home in Spalding, Lincolnshire in April 2016, stabbed 10 times as they slept in their beds.
And the shocking crime was plotted and committed by Elizabeth’s daughter Kim, 14, and her boyfriend Lucas Markham, also 14.
The pair, who were Britain’s youngest ever double murderers, had sex, took a bath together and watched Twilight before carrying out the killings.
PA:Press Association ‘Twilight killers’ Lucas Markham and Kim Edwards killed Kim’s mother and sister in a frenzied attack
In November 2016, Lucas and Kim were both sentenced to life with a minimum of 17 years at Lincoln Crown Court, showing no emotion.
They weren’t named throughout their trial, but in June 2017 a judge lifted reporting restrictions on the pair so that the true horrors of their crimes could be revealed.
Refer to Caption Elizabeth was stabbed to death as she slept in her bed
Refer to Caption The sick pair also brutally murdered Kim’s younger sister Katie
Mary Bell
In 1968, the inner-city suburb of Scotswood, Newcastle, was rocked by the deaths of two young boys, Martin Brown, 4, and Brian Howe, 3.
The perpetrator was Mary Bell, who was just a day shy of her 11th birthday when she killed her first victim, strangling him in a derelict house.
PA:Press Association Mary Bell strangled two toddlers near where she lived in Newcastle
Two months later, she and a friend, Norma Joyce Bell, strangled Brian in a wasteland.
Twisted Mary then returned to his body to carve a letter M into the boy’s stomach.
She also used a pair of scissors to cut off some of his hair, scratch his legs, and mutilate his penis.
PA:Press Association Bell strangled Martin Brown in a derelict house
Collect Her second victim was Brian Howe, who she mutilated
After her arrest, she was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, after court-appointed psychiatrists described her as displaying “classic symptoms” of being a psychopath.
She was named in the press throughout the trial.
Bell’s mother Betty was a prostitute, who repeatedly tried to kill Mary as an infant, including giving her sleeping pills and pushing her out of a window.
When her daughter was jailed, she sold stories about her to the press and shared letters Bell had written to her.
Bell was released in 1980, aged 23. She was given a new identity four years later when her daughter was born.
She has three assumed identities and has moved at least five times after being repeatedly identified.
Jon Venables and Robert Thompson
In one of the UK’s most shocking murders, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, both 10, abducted James Bulger, 2, from a shopping centre near Liverpool on 12 February 1993.
They inflicted horrific injuries on the toddler, which included stamping on him and kicking him, placing batteries in his mouth and dropped a 10kg iron bar on his head, before laying him on a railway track where he was struck by a train.
PA:Press Association Jon Venables (right) and Robert Thompson (left) were 10 when they murdered Jamie Bulger
They were charged with murder eight days later but throughout the trial, the boys were referred to as ‘Child A’ (Thompson) and ‘Child B’ (Venables).
When the trial was closed and they were sentenced to at least eight years in prison (this later rose to a minimum of 15 years thanks to a petition by The Sun) the judge presiding over the case, Mr Justice Morland, lifted reporting restrictions and allowed the names of the boys – who were the youngest convicted murderers of the 20th century – to be released.
At the time he said: “I did this because the public interest overrode the interest of the defendants… There was a need for an informed public debate on crimes committed by young children.”
PA:Press Association James was just 2 when he was murdered in a crime that shocked the nation
PA:Press Association Venables and Thompson abducted the toddler from a shopping centre before torturing and killing him
After they were both released from prison in June 2001, they were given new identities.
Robert Thompson is not believed to have re-offended, however Venables is currently in prison for possessing images showing child abuse.
William Cornick
On 28 April 2014, 61-year-old teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death by one of her pupils while teaching a Spanish class at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds.
The much-loved teacher had been due to retire at the end of that school year and had spent her whole working life at the school – but William Cornick, 15, held a grudge against her.
Ross Parry – SWNS William Cornick killed his Spanish teacher with a knife during a lesson
Cornick had told friends he wanted to ‘brutally murder’ Ann, and even offered them £10 if they’d kill her for him.
They thought these were just threats, but halfway through the lesson, Cornick stabbed Maguire seven times in the back and neck with a 21cm knife, cutting straight through her jugular vein.
SWNS:South West News Service Teacher Ann Maguire was much-loved at the school, and had been due to retire
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After Cornick was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 20 years, judge Mr Justice Coulson lifted the naming restrictions, saying that the action would have a “clear deterrent effect”.
Cornick himself has shown no empathy, saying he knew Maguire’s family would be “p****d off”, but he thought that “everything was fine and dandy”.

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