Australian teen jailed for murder of UK woman

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The UK couple were both injured in the alleged attack
By Simon Atkinson
BBC News, Brisbane

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, was killed when confronting two intruders in Brisbane on Boxing Day in 2022.

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

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

Now aged 19, he was sentenced at Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Monday afternoon local time.

When sentencing Justice Tom Sullivan said Ms Lovell’s murder was a “particularly heinous” crime.

The Lovells had been “a loving family” building a life for themselves in a new country, he said.

“They were ordinary citizens enjoying their family life in their home where they were entitled to feel safe. What happened… violated that entirely.”

The other alleged intruder is yet to enter pleas, with his case listed for a hearing in Brisbane later this month.

The court heard the couple had confronted the teenagers after being woken by their dogs, pushing them outside of the house before grappling in their garden.

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

Police and paramedics responding to the attack had arrived to find Ms Lovell’s two teenage daughters sobbing over their mother’s body.

Medics performed open heart surgery on the front lawn of the home, to try and save Ms Lovell’s life, but she died shortly after arriving at hospital.

The attack in the suburb of North Lakes , about 45km (30 miles) north of Brisbane was captured on a security camera.

Ms Lovell’s family has previously called for her killer to be jailed for life.

Adults in Queensland face a mandatory life sentence for murder, however Queensland law meant the offender must be sentenced as a child.

11 March28 December 2022

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