November 2018

Man jailed for life for murdering his wife and 11-year-old step daughter

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A Gloucester man has been jailed for a minimum of 29 years for the murder of his wife and 11-year-old stepdaughter.

Christopher Boon, 28, pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to killing 31-year-old Laura Mortimer and her daughter Ella Dalby on 28 May.

Ella was murdered by her stepfather after she came to the help of her mother who was being stabbed to death in “a sustained and brutal episode of violence” at their home in Gloucester’s Dexter Way, the court heard.

Ms Justice May, who sentenced Boon, described the murders as “unspeakable savagery” and paid tribute to “brave” Ella for going to her mother’s aid.

“She would have witnessed some part of your murderous attack on her mother and tried to stop you before you turned on her,” she told Boon.

What a brave girl. She and her mother were found lying together, side by side.”

The judge said there were a number of aggravating factors in the case, including the “ferocity” of the attacks and that both victims suffered “mental and physically” before their deaths.

After the attack, Boon left the property and phoned his mother to tell her what he had done.

His mother’s partner called 999 after arriving at the home and officers from Gloucestershire Police attended within 10 minutes.

Ms Mortimer had 18 separate stab wounds, while her daughter suffered 24 wounds. Both died “rapidly” from their injuries, the court heard.

Ms Mortimer and Boon had been married for about five years before the horrific killings.

The court heard how Ms Mortimer told Boon she wanted a divorce in early 2018 after discovering he had an affair.

“On May 27, Laura went out for the evening,” said prosecutor Richard Smith QC.

“She told friends who were there that she had asked Christopher Boon to leave within two weeks. Laura said her husband wasn’t happy at being told he had to leave.”

The families of Ms Mortimer and her daughter paid tribute to them at the conclusion of the trial.

Ms Mortimer’s mother Hilary said she “lived life to the full” and was “full of fun”.

Ms Mortimer ran her own business, Sweet Beginnings, offering bespoke bridal gowns and wedding planning services.

Ella was a student at Barnwood Park Arts College, where she had a passion for dance.