Sharon Louis Carr
(born 21 December 1979) was convicted of the murder of Katie
Racliffe on 25 March 1997.
Sharon Carr is most notable for the fact that
she was twelve years old when she committed the murder on 7 June
1992, making her the youngest female murderer to be sentenced in
the United Kingdom. Katie Racliffe was 18 years old when she died
after being stabbed approximately 30 times.
Police initially believed that a male was
responsible for the crime, as the body was left almost naked with
multiple stab wounds to the breasts, vagina and anus, leading to
speculation that she had been raped.
The crime remained unsolved until Sharon Carr
received a two-year prison sentence for stabbing a fellow
schoolgirl at Collingwood College in Surrey. Whilst in prison, she
admitted to the murder and Police obtained her diaries and noted
that she had written about committing the murder and experiencing
sexual pleasure from the killing. Of note is the fact that the
stabbing at Collingwood College took place on 7 June 1994, exactly
two years after Katie Racliffe's murder.
Sharon Carr was convicted of the murder after
trial and sentenced to life imprisonment. At the trial, she denied
that she had murdered Katie Racliffe and was convicted on the
basis of her interviews with police and the contents of her
diaries. Her tariff was set at 14 years in 1999 and reviewed on 17
October 2003 by the Lord Chief Justice, who ruled that it should
remain at 14 years. However, subsequent representations were
submitted and the Lord Chief Justice again reviewed the tariff on
10 December 2003 and recommended that her tariff be reduced to 12
Although initially incarcerated within the
prison system, Sharon Carr proved extremely difficult to manage
and attacked other prisoners and staff on several occasions,
leading to several transfers between prisons. She was eventually
sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 and transferred to
Broadmoor Hospital on 16 June 1998, where she was assessed as
suffering from schizoaffective disorder. She remained at Broadmoor
Hospital until Broadmoor changed from being a mixed-sex hospital
to male-only, when she was moved to a different secure hospital in
Sharon Carr remains in the care of mental
health professionals. Her tariff expired on 25 March 2009 and
therefore she will be eligible to apply for parole if she is
returned to prison after being discharged from her section. Whilst
subject to section she is not eligible to apply for parole or be
considered for release.
'Release this psycho and she
will kill again'
THE mother of a girl brutally knifed to death
by Britain’s youngest-ever female killer has begged for her not to
By Rick Lyons - DailyStar.co.uk
March 15, 2009
Sharon Carr was aged just 12 when she stabbed
18-year-old hairdresser Katie Rackliff 32 times.
Some of the knife thrusts went clean through
Katie’s body and her breasts were mutilated.
Carr’s 14-year sentence was reduced to 12 years
after a review by the Lord Chief Justice, meaning she is up for
parole for the first time this month.
But Katie’s mum Helen claims she should be left
to rot behind bars and fears she will murder again if she is
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star
Sunday, she said: “We were horrified when her sentence was
“We just couldn’t believe it. The whole family
was flabbergasted – but life doesn’t mean life any more,
“The fact she is now eligible for parole brings
it all back up to the surface and forces us to think about it
“I don’t feel she should ever be let out
because she’s a psychopath. She’s far too dangerous. She didn’t
show any remorse at the trial.
“The family are really concerned she could be
out on the street and it could happen to someone else.”
Carr, now 29, had a history of sadistic
violence before the murder and once used a spade to decapitate a
dog. She killed Katie after she left a nightclub in Farnborough,
Hants, on June 6, 1992.
Katie was picked up by Carr and two other
youths in a car after she was involved in an argument.
But it wasn’t until three-and-a-half years
later, while Carr was locked away in a young offenders’
institution for stabbing a 13-year-old girl in 1994, that she was
Diaries seized by police were full of sickening
boasts about the murder.
One spine-chilling entry read: “I wish I could
kill you again. I promise I would make you suffer more. Your
terrified screams turn me on.”
She also wrote: “I swear I was born to be a
murderer. Killing for me is a mass turn-on and it just makes me so
high I never want to come down.
“Every night I see the Devil in my dreams –
sometimes even in my mirror – but I realise it was just me and my
heart of terror.”
Carr, of Camberley, Surrey, nicknamed the
Devil’s Daughter, was found guilty in March 1997 and sent to
Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, Berks.
But Mrs Rackliff said: “It is just like I’m
serving the sentence myself and my family is serving the sentence.
“Not a day goes by when you don’t think about
it. It’s not natural for your children to die before you. It’s a
hard thing to come to terms with.
“You just think, ‘Why her?’. Katie was very
trusting. She often used to say to me that I worried too much.
“She was a normal jolly girl. I don’t think
there will ever be a time when it’s behind me. I’ll carry it to
Katie killer set to fight
THE woman who stabbed 18-year-old Katie Rackliff to death when she
was just 12 is planning to challenge her conviction for murder.
October 21, 2003
THE woman who stabbed 18-year-old Katie
Rackliff to death when she was just 12 is planning to challenge
her conviction for murder.
Sharon Carr became the UK’s youngest ever
female murderer when she was convicted in 1997 murdering Katie,
whose body was found in a Farnborough street on June 7, 1992.
The trainee hairdresser was knifed around 30
times by Carr as she got a lift to her home from Ragamuffins
nightclub in Camberley.
She used a six-inch blade to kill the teenager
and then mutilated her body in an appalling and sadistic attack.
Carr, a former Camberley schoolgirl, was only
captured and convicted five years later after she boasted in a
diary – while in custody for another stabbing – that “killing is
my business and business is good”.
Police found that she had a history of cruelty
to animals, and that she was probably suffering from a form of
psychopathic disorder. Although her mental illness could not be
pin-pointed, all agreed she was “very dangerous”.
But it emerged on Friday during a challenge
against Carr’s 14-year tariff – the minimum number of years she
must spend behind bars before being considered for parole – that
her lawyers are planning an appeal against the conviction.
England and Wales’ top judge, the Lord Chief
Justice Lord Woolf, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice, said
Carr wants her murder conviction replaced with one of manslaughter
on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
He said: “Her lawyers also wish to highlight
that Carr’s confession to the murder may now be in doubt and that
the papers submitted to the trial judge — upon which he based his
assessment of her psychiatric condition — were edited by the
The court heard that the Broadmoor inmate had
assaulted staff and other residents and admitted wanting to kill a
fellow inmate by slitting her throat.
On occasions she has believes she is a lizard
and tried to cut herself to find out whether she is still human.
Lord Woolf refused to cut the 23-year-old
Carr’s tariff to the nine years recommended by her legal team. He
concluded: “Nothing in the pages before me suggests the tariff of
14 years in this case should be revised despite Carr’s youth at
the time of the offence.”
Lord Woolf was at pains to point out to her
family that she will not necessarily be released after she has
served the stipulated 14 years. He said that Carr will only win
her freedom when it is deemed that she no longer poses a threat to
Miss Rackliff’s sister Joanne, her mother Helen
and father Joseph were all in court. Lord Woolf said: “They have
expressed the view that Carr should never be released because they
consider that the murder was pre-meditated and they regard the
defendant as a threat to society. It appears from their statements
that they all continue to suffer stress and anxiety as a result of
Outside court Mrs Rackliff said that it was the
first time the family had been made aware that Carr was planning
to appeal against her conviction.
She added: “We are pleased with the result. We
would hate any family to go through what we have."
Devil's daughter to wed the mum killer
Murderers fall in love in Broadmoor
By Lucy Lawrence - Sunday Mirror
June 10, 2001
BRITAIN'S youngest female killer is to marry
another murderer inside Broadmoor high-security mental hospital.
Sharon Carr, branded the Devil's Daughter, was
12 years old when she stabbed hairdresser Katie Rackliff 32 times.
Now she is to marry fellow inmate Robbie Layne,
who killed his own mother by gouging out her eyes.
The couple met two years ago when they bumped
into each other during a recreation period at the hospital.
Since then they have had regular, supervised
hour-long meetings during which they are allowed to kiss and
The pair will be married by Broadmoor chaplain
Trevor Walt in the chapel of the Berkshire hospital later this
Carr, 21, and Layne, 24, will be escorted into
the chapel, where they will stand side-by-side.
The ceremony, which will be attended by several
other patients who have become close friends of the couple, will
last just 20 minutes.
Relatives will be allowed to attend. But the
couple will not be allowed to consummate the marriage.
Carr became Britain's youngest-ever female
murderer when she was convicted in 1997 of butchering Katie, 18.
She was stabbed with a six-inch blade and then mutilated by Carr
in June 1992 after a night out at a disco.
She had been picked up by Carr and two other
youths in a car outside the nightclub in Farnborough, Hampshire,
after she was involved in an argument.
Police spent three-and-a-half years searching
for a male sex-killer.
Then in January 1996 Carr - who was already
locked up for stabbing a 13-year-old girl at school - told a
warder she had murdered Katie.
In a diary entry after the murder Carr, of
Camberley, Surrey, boasted: "Killing is my business and business
is good." Last night Katie's father Joe was "distraught"
at the news that his daughter's killer is to be allowed to wed.
Katie's murder nine years ago has torn his
family apart, and he and wife Helen have since divorced.
He said: "At the time I said Carr should hang,
and I stand by that.
"It's no kind of punishment. She took my little
girl from me and now she's allowed to get married - to have a
"This is not justice, it's an absolute
Carr and husband-to-be Layne will both be
detained for life.
When Layne was 17 he stabbed and battered his
mother in a fit of jealousy, believing she favoured his sister.
Then he gouged out her eyes with the handle of
a carpet sweeper. He was sent to Broadmoor in 1996.
Sources at the hospital said the killers soon
struck up a friendship. They met regularly in unsegregated areas
but are housed in separate wings.
Carr is on Harrogate Ward, while Layne shares
Woodstock Ward with other killers.
Layne is a talented sportsman. He plays
football with other offenders who are all part of the hospital's
team and is also an avid cricketer.
During one match at the hospital grounds Layne
boasted that he was very excited because he was going to be
born to be a killer. Every night I see the Devil in my dreams
Girl who stabbed hairdresser to death at the
age of 12 is detained at Her Majesty's pleasure
By Kim Sengupta - Independent.co.uk
March 26, 1997
Sharon Carr, a girl obsessed with death and
violence, secured her place in criminal history yesterday as
Britain's youngest female murderer.
She had killed at the age of 12 - a savage
attack in which a teenage hairdresser was mutilated with 29 stab
wounds. The victim, Katie Rackliff, had been picked out at random
as she walked home from a nightclub in June 1992.
The trial at Winchester Crown Court was told
that in the years that followed, Carr seemed to be exultant over
the killing, and yet haunted by it. She was endlessly writing
about the murder and drawing pictures of a knife.
Samples of her notes were graphic. In one she
said: " I am a killer. Killing is my business - and business is
good." In another: " I was born to be a murderer. Killing for me
is a mass turn-on and it just makes me so high I never want to
come down. Every night I see the Devil in my dreams - sometimes
even in my mirror, but I realise it was just me."
Four years after the murder, a diary entry
stated: " I bring the knife into her chest. Her eyes are closing.
She is pleading with me so I bring the knife to her again and
again. I don't want to hurt her but I need to do violence to her
... I need to overcome her beauty, her serenity, her security.
There I see her face when she died. I know she feels her life
being slowly drawn from her and I hear her gasp. I guess she was
trying to breathe.
"The air stops in the back of her throat. I
know all her life her breathing has worked, but it does not now.
And I am joyful".
Were these the fantasies of a deeply disturbed
mind, as the defence claimed? Or, as the Crown held, the grim
memories of an " evil and precocious" schoolgirl who gloried in
what she had done? The jury had no doubt.
It was the writings, and subsequent verbal
confessions that convicted Carr. There was no forensic evidence,
but, as the prosecution pointed out, she had knowledge of the
murder not available to the public. She graphically described one
particular injury, details of which the police had deliberately
withheld, and she also knew that a bracelet had been stolen from
Katie Rackliff - knowledge that only the killer would have.
In June 1994, almost two years to the day after
Katie's murder, Carr attacked a pupil called Ann-Marie Clifford
with a knife, for no apparent reason, at Collingwood College
Comprehensive in Camberley, Surrey.
While awaiting trial, she was sent to an
assessment centre where she tried to strangle two members of
staff. Two counts of actual bodily harm were taken into account
when she was convicted of wounding Ann-Marie, and sentenced to be
detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.
At Bulwood Hall young offenders' institution,
staff alerted police after Carr began talking about the killing of
Katie Rackliff on the telephone to her friends and family and
wrote about it in her diaries. She also began to give details of
what she had done to a prison officer, on whom she had developed a
crush, as well as talking about it to a probation officer.
The Rackliff killing had remained unsolved
despite four years of intensive investigation by police. Some of
the knife blows that Katie suffered in the attack had gone
straight through her body and out the other side. Her sexual
organs were mutilated, and her clothes pulled up, although there
was no evidence of sexual assault.
Detectives seized Carr's writings and drawings,
and questioned her for 27 hours. She gave three different accounts
of how Katie had been killed, but in all of them the central theme
was she had repeatedly stabbed her.
In two of the versions, Carr said she was with
two boys in a car at the time of the attack, and they had engaged
in sexual activity with Katie before dumping the body. She named
the two boys. Police interviewed them but they provided alibis for
each other, and were eliminated from the inquiry. However, the
prosecution could not satisfactorily explain how Katie, who
weighed 8st 8lbs, was dragged across a pavement and around a
corner by a 12-year-old girl.
Carr continued with her writing even after
being interviewed by the police. In April l996, the month before
she was charged, she wrote: " I am not like one of those pretty
girls who breaks down due to a guilty conscience. Through six and
a half years of causing people grief, I still have not found one."
On 7 June, her diary read: " Respect to Katie Rackliff. Four years
Sadistic violence seemed to be part of her
life. Police discovered that she had decapitated a neighbour's dog
with a spade, and there was also a "suggestion" from a friend that
she had fried live hamsters.
Detective Sergeant Paul Clements, who
interviewed Carr extensively, recalled: "It was almost as if she
was in another world. What sticks in my mind about talking to her
was the coldness. Most people that you interview show some feeling
as to why they have done what they have done. But with her there
was a complete absence of emotion and reason."
Carr was born in Belize in 1981 and was brought
up by her mother and stepfather - a soldier. After moving to
England the family settled in Camberley, Surrey. Her parents split
up and she was briefly fostered, but after a month she returned to
the home of her mother. At school, her teachers initially
described her as polite and helpful, but her behaviour
deteriorated and she became disruptive and attention-seeking.
Criminal psychologist Gordon Tressler said:
"This is a difficult case to understand. One can find precedents
of young children killing other young children, but in this case
it was a child killing someone who was almost an adult.
"This is an extremely dangerous person because
she is clearly prepared to kill without an adequate motive. That
makes her conduct very unpredictable and very dangerous. She is a
great danger to the public."
Sharon Carr's diary
Katie Rackliff, 18.