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Baby-faced woman, 21, jailed for 15 years after leading vigilante gang to kill a wrongly accused rape suspect in brutal attack which left him looking like the 'Elephant Man'Emma Hall encouraged gang to beat Luke Harwood to death in EssexA girl had told Hall that Harwood raped her but this turned out to be falseBrutal attack left victim with flattened head 'like a marshmallow'
James Danby and Tony O'Toole also jailed for taking part in the murder
Arthur Martin and Ben Spencer
15:59 GMT, 24 April 2013
00:55 GMT, 25 April 2013
Jailed: Emma Hall will spend at least 15 years in prison for the brutal torture and murder of Luke Harwood
A gang who tortured and killed a teenager who was wrongly accused of rape were jailed for life yesterday.
The trio – led by baby-faced Emma Hall – left Luke Harwood, 18, looking like ‘the Elephant Man’ after punching and kicking him for two hours.
The mob then took him to wasteland and jumped on his head until he was dead.
James Danby, 27, who was covered in blood, turned to Hall, 21, and said: ‘I’ve finished him.’
The next day, they returned to cut off Mr Harwood’s fingers and pull out his teeth to prevent his body being identified.
But Hall had tipped off the police and they were arrested.
Mr Harwood was killed after an 18-year-old girl pointed him out to Hall during a chance meeting and claimed he had raped her two years earlier.
She had made a complaint to police but withdrew it after they found that no rape had taken place.
Danby, Hall and her boyfriend Tony O’Toole, 30, denied murder but were convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey.
Sentencing them, Judge Paul Worsley said: ‘Luke Harwood was only 18 when he was brutally murdered.
He had a pregnant girlfriend and a young child. He was subjected to beating, punching and kicking for a period of some two hours, which left footmarks on his skull and head such that he had the appearance of the Elephant Man.
‘He was a vulnerable victim. He weighed only seven stone, was 18 and no match for any of you, let alone a joint group attack.
He was completely at your mercy – he had been rendered completely helpless.’
Victim: Mr Harwood, 18, (pictured left and right) had been wrongly accused of raping a teenager who pointed him out at a party
Jailing Danby for a minimum of 25
years, the judge called him ‘a controlling, manipulative and dangerous
individual’ who ‘has shown no sign of remorse’.
O’Toole was jailed for a minimum of 17 years and Hall was given a minimum term of 15 years.
The court heard that when Hall was told of the rape claim, she said: ‘I’m going to ****ing kill him.’
The trio set upon Mr Harwood at his
home in Romford, Essex, punching and kicking him in the face and head,
spraying blood over the walls.
Hall then drove Danby, O’Toole and Mr
Harwood to a lane where he was taken to the bank of a stream in
Woodford Green, East London, and killed in May last year. His body was
hidden under an old mattress.
The killers, all from Romford, then
bought petrol and set fire to their bloody clothing, before cleaning up
the bloodstains at the house.
Killers: Tony O'Toole, left, and James Dandy, right, were also given life sentences for the teenager's murder
The next evening, Hall drove Danby,
O’Toole and Billy Duggan, 21, to the spot. Prosecutor Simon Denison, QC,
said: ‘They had with them knives and a pair of bolt cutters that they
were intending to use to mutilate his body to make it more difficult for
him to be identified.’
But Hall had told the police to divert guilt
from herself, and officers were waiting.
Hall and Danby were also found guilty
of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and perverting justice.
O’Toole was also found guilty of perverting justice and conspiracy to
pervert justice, along with Danby.
Duggan was found guilty of perverting
justice and conspiracy to pervert justice and was given a two-year
sentence suspended for two years.
After the case, Mr Harwood’s family
said: ‘He should still be alive to share his life with us and to be a
father to his son, as well as his daughter whom he never met.
‘He was falsely accused of a crime he
didn’t commit and killed in the most violent way. His murderers took
away his life for no reason, leaving his family with no chance to say