Emma Lovell: Australian teen jailed for 14 years over UK woman’s murder

A teenager who stabbed a British mother to death after breaking into her home in Australia has been jailed for 14 years.

Emma Lovell, 41, died after confronting two intruders in Brisbane on Boxing Day 2022.

She moved from Suffolk in 2011 with her daughters and husband Lee, who was also injured in the attack.

The offender, who cannot legally be named because he was 17 at the time, pleaded guilty to murder earlier this year.

He also admitted three other charges of robbery and assault.

In the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Monday, Justice Tom Sullivan said the man, now 19, had committed a “particularly horrific” crime against the Lovells, who he described as a “loving family” who had built a life for themselves. myself . new country

“They were ordinary citizens enjoying their family life in their own home where they had the right to feel safe. What happened… completely ruined that.”

Judge Sullivan noted that the perpetrator himself witnessed violence from an early age and began using drugs and alcohol at the age of 14 after the death of his grandmother.

But his “flawed” childhood did not outweigh the seriousness of the crime or warrant leniency, he concluded, ruling that the teenager will serve at least nine years and nine months in prison before he is eligible for parole. .

The other teenager charged in the incident has not yet entered pleas and will be questioned in Brisbane later this month.

The court heard that on the night of the murder, Mr and Miss Lovell woke their dog when they were confronted by the teenage intruders and forced from their house, where a fight then broke out in the garden.

There, Lovell was fatally stabbed in the heart with an 11.5 cm (4.5 in) knife.

Police and paramedics who responded to the attack arrived to find her two teenage daughters crying over their dying mother.

Doctors performed open-heart surgery in the front yard of the house, but Lovell died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

The attack in the suburb of Northern Lakes, about 45 kilometers (30 miles) north of Brisbane, sparked community outrage and was one of several incidents that prompted Queensland state to introduce controversial tougher youth crime laws.

The court heard that the teenager responsible for Ms Lovell’s death had previous convictions for 84 offenses – more than a dozen thefts – although none of them were violent.

Lovell’s family previously called for his killer to be sentenced to life in prison. Adults face a mandatory life sentence for murder in Queensland, but the offender was tried as a child because of his age at the time of the incident.

“I don’t feel like justice has even been served,” Lovell said outside court in Brisbane, noting that just a day earlier his family had celebrated Mother’s Day in mourning.

“14 years was nice to get, but it’s never enough… it won’t bring Emma back.”

In an emotional victim impact statement released last week, Lovell told the court he felt “so lost in life” without his best friend and wife of 22 years.

“The girls and I are being robbed of our future.”

A statement was also read on behalf of Lovell’s mother, Marjorie Dowson, who said the loss of her daughter “has left a great void that can never be filled.”

“His death destroyed my life,” she said..

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