Girl who killed her
Norfolk-born father fails in appeal against conviction for his
By David Bale - EveningNews24.co.uk
Monday, April 18, 2011
A girl who smothered to death her Wroxham-born
father with a cushion has failed in her appeal against her
conviction for his murder.
Lorraine Thorpe, of Ipswich, who is thought
be Britainís youngest female double murderer, was found guilty at
Ipswich Crown Court in August 2010 of murdering her father
Desmond Thorpe and a woman called Rosalyn Hunt. She was 15 at
the time of the killings.
Thorpe, now 16, was convicted along with Paul
Clarke, 41, from Ipswich.
The Appeal Court last week rejected their
appeals in relation to Mr Thorpe's murder.
Mr Thorpe, who was one of 11 children, was born
and grew up in Wroxham and it was previously reported that his
brother Colin Thorpe lived in Old Catton.
Lawyers for Thorpe and Clarke told the Court of
Appeal the convictions for his murder were unsafe and should be
During their trial at Ipswich Crown Court,
jurors heard evidence from a young friend of Thorpe's who said the
girl had confessed to being a murderer.
A prison padre also told the jury she had
spoken of her father's killing on the anniversary of his birthday.
Lawyers for the pair claimed that this evidence
was inadmissible, although they did not challenge the guilty
verdicts over the murder of Mrs Hunt, 41, a mother-of-two.
The pair's trial had heard how in August 2009
Thorpe and Clarke violently tortured Mrs Hunt before killing her.
They then killed Mr Thorpe because they feared
he might tell others about her murder. Mrs Hunt and Mr Thorpe were
both members of the street-drinking community in Ipswich.
Lord Justice Hughes, sitting with Mr Justice
Treacy and Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, told the Appeal Court that
they had no doubt the conviction was safe.
Thorpe will be able to apply for parole after
14 years behind bars, while Clarke's minimum jail term is 27
Double murderer aged 15: Girl
given life sentence
By Paul Cheston - Standard.co.uk
September 7, 2010
Britain's youngest female double murderer was
ordered to be detained for a minimum 14 years at the Old Bailey
Lorraine Thorpe was just 15 when she killed her
father, who was in her care.
She also murdered mother-of-two Rosie Hunt who
was kicked and punched over several days, suffering multiple
fractures and nine broken ribs.
Thorpe, who was on the run from social services
at the time, and her co-defendant Peter Clarke, 42, were convicted
of both murders in Ipswich in August last year. Clarke was jailed
for a minimum of 27 years last month.
Thorpe, now 16, joins a small group of
Britain's most evil women killers. They include:
Mary Bell, who was 11 when she strangled two
boys in Newcastle. She was convicted of manslaughter in 1968.
Sharon Carr was 12 when she stabbed 18-year-old
Katie Rackliff 32 times in the street in Farnborough. She was
convicted of murder aged 17 in 1992.
Myra Hindley was found guilty in 1966 of
murdering two boys and being an accessory in Ian Brady's murder of
a third child in the Moors Murders. Twenty years later they
confessed to killing two other children.
Rosemary West was 42 when she was convicted in
1992 of murdering 10 girls and young women with her husband Fred,
mostly at their home in Cromwell Street, Gloucester.
Thorpe and Clarke's two murders took place amid
the violence and stealing culture of Ipswich street drinkers of
which Thorpe was a part from the age of 13.
Her parents had split up when she was 12 and
she went to live with her alcoholic father in various squalid
flats, evading social services.
Clarke, a bully and the central figure among
the drinkers, had a relationship with Ms Hunt, 41. He killed her,
furious that she had allowed a dog to attack a child. Mr Thorpe,
43, was killed to stop him going to the police.
Sentencing Thorpe today, Mr Justice Saunders
described her as "stubborn, wilful, highly manipulative and bright
but also immature and childish even for her young age".
He said there was no doubt she cared for and
loved her father but he refused to accept that she had been
completely under the dominant influence of Clarke.
"Her story is an appalling one and her case is
rightly described as wholly exceptional," said the judge. "She
spent all her time with middle-aged alcoholics to whom violence
was the norm" as they fought each other "and stole to get the
drink which they craved". The judge said Thorpe had played a "full
part" in the murder of Ms Hunt and an attempt to cover it up.
"She appeared to have glorified in it and
described to a friend how she stamped on Rosie's head," he said.
"At the time of his death her father was a
hopeless alcoholic, unable to walk unaided or do anything for
himself in his weakened state. Not only was he extremely
vulnerable but his daughter had accepted the care of him."
The judge sentenced Thorpe to be detained at
Her Majesty's pleasure, the juvenile equivalent of a life
sentence, and said she would not be released until the parole
board was satisfied she was no longer a danger.
youngest female double murderer jailed
Britain's youngest female double murderer has
been given a life sentence for killing her father and a woman in
separate incidents when she was just 15.
September 7, 2010
She was convicted of taking part with
41-year-old Paul Clarke in the murders of Desmond Thorpe and
Rosalyn Hunt last August.
Ms Hunt, 41, was beaten to death in Ipswich
over several days, with Thorpe responsible for kicking, punching
and stamping on her head.
Mr Thorpe, 43, a ''vulnerable'' alcoholic, was
smothered amid fears that he would tell the police about the first
Thorpe, now 16, of Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, was
told she must serve at least 14 years behind bars as she was
sentenced at the Old Bailey today.
Mr Justice Saunders said she could be
''manipulative'' and was not acting entirely under Clarke's
control, adding: ''She found violence funny and entertaining.''
Clarke, of Mountbatten Court, Ipswich, has
already been jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years.
Thorpe became Britain's youngest convicted
female double murderer after the pair's trial at Ipswich Crown
Court, which ended last month.
Mary Bell, detained at the age of 11 in 1968
for the manslaughter of two boys aged three and four, remains the
youngest female killer.
The youngest girl to be convicted of a single
murder was Sharon Carr, just 12 when she killed trainee
hairdresser Katie Rackliff in 1992.
The judge said Clarke was the "instigator" in
the murder of Ms Hunt, also an alcoholic, although Thorpe "played
a full part".
"She was responsible for protracted kicking,
punching and stamping on Rosalyn, who was not fit to defend
herself effectively from the outset. By the end of those attacks
she was completely helpless.
"Far from being sorry, Lorraine appears to have
gloried in it, describing to her friends at one stage how she
stamped on Rosalyn's head."
Thorpe's father was a "hopeless alcoholic" and
"very vulnerable person" unable to walk unaided or do anything for
himself, and she was his carer.
"He died by being smothered to death," said the
"The only possible explanation for his death
can be the fear that he would go and tell the police what happened
to Rosalyn Hunt."
Thorpe was influenced by being in the company
of Clarke, the "dominant" member of a group of heavy drinkers, and
would try to impress him, said the judge.
But he added: "I don't accept that she was
entirely under the control of Mr Clarke. She is someone who can be
quite stubborn and wilful and is capable of being highly
The judge said the case was "exceptional" and
said of Thorpe: "Her story is an appalling one."
The court heard that Thorpe's parents split up
when she was 12 and she initially lived with her mother before
going to look after her father at 13.
Father and daughter would move "from one
squalid flat to another", sometimes even living in tents.
"She was spending all her time with middle-aged
alcoholics to whom violence had become normal. It had become part
of their way of life. The alcoholics fought with each other. They
stole in order to get the drink they craved," said the judge.
Thorpe stopped going to school and stopped
taking the medication she needed to treat her attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
"Social services were unable to keep track of
her. When she was placed in a school, she escaped and went back to
her father," said the judge.
All the evidence was that they "loved each
other very much".
Through drinking they met Clarke and lived at
his flat for a time.
Thorpe was growing up in "totally the wrong
place and atmosphere to bring up a young girl", said the judge.
"She has been left with no real understanding
of what is right and what is wrong," he added.
"No-one who heard the evidence in this case
could doubt for a moment that she has had immense difficulties in
"To describe her upbringing as not being a
proper upbringing would be an understatement but it has left her
as a violent young woman and a highly manipulative young woman as
Graham Parkins QC, defending, said: "Lorraine
was vulnerable herself, both physically and in terms of her
"It was highly inappropriate for this young
girl to be playing a role of carer to her drunken and indeed very
"She never really had much of a chance in
Mr Parkins said there seemed to have been
"little supervision" of her and she had been "left to her own
Double Suffolk killer must serve 27 years in
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
KILLER Paul Clarke was today sentenced to serve
at least 27 years in prison for a double Suffolk murder.
A killer was jailed for a minimum of 27 years
today for jointly committing two Suffolk murders.
Paul Clarke, 42, of Mountbatten Court, Ipswich,
was sentenced this morning at Ipswich Crown Court.
Yesterday, he was convicted along with
16-year-old Lorraine Thorpe of being involved in the brutal
murders of two alcoholics - Thorpe's father Des and 41-year-old
Rosie Hunt who died within days of each other last summer.
During a seven-week trial Ipswich Crown Court
heard that Mrs Hunt, a mother-of-two, and Mr Thorpe were both
members of the street-drinking community in Ipswich and in the
period leading up to their deaths they had spent their time with
fellow drinkers at Clarke's flat in Mountbatten Court or at Mrs
Huntís flat in Victoria Street in the town.
The jury was told that Mrs Hunt, who at one
time had a relationship with Clarke, had been killed after he
blamed her for his dog attacking a child and Des Thorpe had been
murdered to silence him after he threatened to tell the police
what had happened to Mrs Hunt.
Clarke, 41, and Lorraine Thorpe both denied
murdering Mrs Hunt between August 1 and 10 last year and murdering
Mr Thorpe on August 10.
The jury unanimously found them guilty of Mrs
Hunt's murder and guilty of Mr Thorpe's murder by majority
verdicts of 10-2 after more than 17 hours of deliberations.
A third defendant, John Grimwood, 28, of Canham
Street, Ipswich, had denied murdering Mrs Hunt and was acquitted
by the jury.
After yesterday's verdicts the trial judge Mr
Justice Saunders adjourned sentence on Clarke until today and
adjourned sentence on Thorpe, until next month for a pre-sentence
A court order had banned Lorraine Thorpe, of
Ipswich, from being named in media reports because of her age but
after yesterday's convictions the judge said it was in the public
interest to lift the court order.
During the trial the court heard that two days
before she was killed Mrs Hunt, who was described as vulnerable
and a long-term alcoholic, had been tortured by Clarke and
Lorraine Thorpe after Clarke accused her of hitting his dog.
Witnesses described Mrs Hunt being repeatedly
kicked and punched in the head, being whipped with a dog chain,
having her hair set alight with a cigarette lighter and having
salt rubbed in her open wounds.
On the day of her death Clarke had been furious
after his dog attacked a child in Ipswich town centre and together
with Lorraine Thorpe subjected Mrs Hunt to further violence which
led to her death.
Her body was found five days later after a
worried neighbour called the police and a post-mortem examination
showed she had died from a heavy blow to her neck/chest area. She
was also found to have multiple external injuries to her body and
nine broken ribs.
After Mrs Hunt's death Clarke and Lorraine
Thorpe had collected Des Thorpe from Mountbatten Court and had
gone with him to a friendís flat in Limerick Close, Ipswich.
Patricia Lynch, prosecuting, said that prior to
Mr Thorpe's death on August 10 he had been subjected to repeated
incidents of violence by his daughter and Clarke and that he died
after being smothered with a cushion because he threatened to tell
the police what had happened to Mrs Hunt.
Mr Thorpe, who was described as a chronic
alcoholic, was found to have a number of external injuries to his
body as well as a faint, patterned mark on his forehead which
could have been caused by the imprint of a shoe.
Cuts to his upper lip caused by contact with
his teeth led a pathologist to conclude he had been smothered.
Miss Lynch told the court that at the time of
the murders Lorraine Thorpe had been on the run from social
services after absconding from a children's home, although this
has since been denied by social services.
Giving evidence during the trial, Paul Clarke
admitted kicking Mrs Hunt twice on the day she died but said he
did not think his actions contributed to her death. He said he had
fallen asleep in Mrs Hunt's lounge and had been woken up by
Lorraine Thorpe who told him that Mrs Hunt was dead. He claimed
Des Thorpe had been a friend and denied being involved in his
Both Lorraine Thorpe and Grimwood chose not to
give evidence during the trial.
Dead pair named in murder inquiry
August 11, 2009
Murder detectives have named a woman and a man
found dead in their homes in Ipswich.
Rosalyn Hunt, 41, was found in her flat in
Victoria Street, Ipswich, on Sunday. A post-mortem examination
found the cause of death as trauma to the body.
Desmond Thorpe, 43, was found in Limerick
Close, Ipswich, the next day. Post-mortem tests were inconclusive.
On Monday a man, 41, and a girl, 15, were
arrested on suspicion of murder. A 27-year-old man has also been
Investigations are ongoing at the properties in
Victoria Street and Limerick Close, Ipswich.
Any witnesses or anyone with any information in
relation to these incidents is asked to call Suffolk Police.
15, Britain's youngest female double murderer was ordered
to be detained for a minimum 14 years.
Paul Clarke was
sentenced to serve at least 27 years in prison
for the double Suffolk murder.
Rosalyn Hunt, 41.