THE FATHER of murdered Casey-Lyanne Kearney has said that “no sentence” can bring the 13-year-old back into their lives.
Killer Hannah Bonser has been sentenced to a minimum of 22 years behind bars for stabbing the teenager to death in Elmfield Park.
Anthony Kearney said: “Our family would like to thank South Yorkshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for their hard work and dedication in bringing this case to a satisfactory conclusion.
“We think the jury has come to the correct decision in convicting Bonser with the murder of Casey. There was never a doubt in our minds this was a calculated and deliberate act and therefore deserves the maximum sentence our judicial system allows.
“However, no sentence will bring Casey back to us and the severity of Bonser’s actions means we will never have the privilege of her in our lives again.”
When the guilty verdict was announced, friends and family of Casey in the public gallery breathed a sigh of relief.
After the sentencing, senior investigating officer, detective superintendent, Terry Mann: said: “This was a terrible, unprovoked and random attack on an innocent young girl, robbing her and her loving family of her future years. It happened in broad daylight in a popular area, shocking the local community.
“The investigation has been a difficult one for all involved so I would like to thank everyone who came forward, helping us with our enquiries.
“We have supported Casey’s family throughout the investigation, which has now come to a close. They have conducted themselves with the upmost dignity and I offer them my deepest sympathy. We hope that they can now find some solace in the guilty verdict for Hannah Bonser and now begin to rebuild their lives.”
CPS lawyer Richard Hebbert, who was prosecuting during the eight-day trial that concluded today, said: “The manner of Casey’s death in many ways embodies the worst fear of every parent. Having set out to go to the house of a friend early on Valentine’s Day afternoon, circumstances combined cruelly to put her in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was a pointless waste of a promising young life.
“The prosecution case showed from the outset that Hannah Bonser killed Casey and this was accepted by the defence. The issue at trial was how responsible she was for what she did. The opinion of a psychiatric expert instructed by the prosecution to assess Hannah Bonser’s mental state was that whilst she was suffering from a personality disorder she was able to understand the nature of her conduct, form a rational judgement and exercise self-control and on that basis she would be guilty of murder.
“The prosecution has been conducted on that basis and today the jury agreed with us.
“This has been a tragic case for all who have been touched by it, but, of course none more than Casey’s parents, who, I hope, feel at least that justice has now been done for their daughter.”