Kim Edwards and her boyfriend Lucas Markham murdered Edwards’s mother Elizabeth, 49, and her younger sister Katie, 13, at their home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in April 2016. Edwards and Markham, who were 14 at the time, were both jailed in November 2016 for 20 years. After appealing, St Pauls Chambers reduced the sentence from 20 years to 17 and a half years.
It was determined that Kim Edwards helped to plan the “cold, calculated and callous” killings of her mother and sister alongside her boyfriend, Lucas Markham. However, she denied murder, saying a mental abnormality impaired her ability to form rational judgements. This reasoning was dismissed and Kim Edwards was found guilty by a jury. On the night of the murders, Markham walked along Spalding’s Coronation Channel to Edwards’ home before knocking on her bedroom window as a signal to Kim that he had arrived. She then let Markham in through a bathroom window, into the home Edwards shared with her mother and younger sister. Lucas Markham admitted to using a kitchen knife to stab the victims in the neck ten times while they were asleep. He also smothered both victims. During the trial it was disclosed that Edwards and Markham stayed in the house after the killings, where they shared a bath, had sex, and watched the Twilight films, ignoring visits from the police.
Lifting of Naming Ban
The identities of the two teenagers had been protected while lawyers appealed the ruling, but ban on naming them was lifted by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, who said “It is impossible for the public properly to understand this case without knowing the identity of the defendants and that these murders took place in a closed family context.”
“This singular fact informs and colours one’s entire understanding of the case… unless one knows this singular fact, it is impossible to understand the true motive behind these murders.”
The decision to lift the naming ban was supported by Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice Blake and Mr Justice Lewis.
Sir Brian Leveson said,
“In the circumstances of this case, notwithstanding that the appellants are only 15 years of age, we have no doubt that the lifting of reporting restrictions is in accordance with law, pursues a legitimate aim and is a reasonable and proportionate measure … properly balancing the welfare of the appellants … against the Article 10 rights of the press and the interests of the public.”
Det Supt Martin Holvey, of Lincolnshire Police, said the “horrific and brutal” murders had shocked the community,
“I’m sure that sense of disbelief and horror will be deepened now it is known that it was Elizabeth’s own daughter who was responsible for plotting with her boyfriend to carry out the murders,” he said.
He said the newly disclosed details, including how the couple stayed in the house after the killings and the lack of remorse or empathy shown by Edwards and Markham, were “chilling”.
“These new revelations will undoubtedly focus attention on Spalding once again. I would like to repeat sentiments I have made earlier, thanking the community for their cooperation throughout the case and paying tribute to the courage of Elizabeth and Katie’s family,” he said.
“They have endured a terrible ordeal and faced the additional anguish of knowing that this horrific crime was committed by a family member.”
St Pauls Barristers Appeal
At the trial, counsel from St Pauls Chambers, Simon Myerson KC and Nigel Edwards KC, were instructed by Bird & Co. to represent Stan (Lucas) Markham. Counsel, Andrew Stranex, instructed by Watson Woodhouse Solicitors, was the junior barrister for Kim Edwards.
Simon Myerson KC and Sam Green KC appealed against the sentence, reducing it from 20 years to 17 and a half years, when the prosecuted will be considered for parole.