Although he wasn't at all critical, he was worried that his children might come across it at a time in their lives when it might upset them. At the time I immediately removed it from the I AM AN ENGLISHMAN web site.
However, it is such a poignant and illuminating tale that I am restoring it in the form it now takes. I am sure, given the removal of Elizabeth's surname and any geogaphical point of reference, that it is most unlikely that her children will now come across this article.
On 19 of December 2001, 29-year-old mother-of-three, Elizabeth X, died in the village of H*******.
She was the care worker on duty in a residential unit where just one 15-year-old was housed. Elizabeth had put out a kitchen fire that the girl had started a little while earlier but, when she became abusive and threatening, she locked herself in an upstairs office, in line with her training, away from the threat. This was a procedure that all staff were advised to follow when a resident was causing problems.
From the office she reported the girl's behaviour to the 'on call' manager. At this time the fire alarm was activated and Elizabeth told him she thought the girl, who had been resident at the unit for less than a month, might be trying to set fire to the building. She cut this call short in order to phone the fire brigade.
Locking herself away from the fifteen-year-old's aggression sealed Elizabeth's fate, as she was, indeed, busy setting fires in the room below. Two armchairs, a pair of curtains and various other items of upholstery were set ablaze. Once the conflagration took hold, the teenager calmly left the building. She told no one what she had done until questioned later by the police.
At Birmingham Crown Court, Rex Tedd QC, defending, said the girl was known to 'cause damage' and 'throw things about' when she did not get what she wanted. However, he reasoned that this was uderstandable, saying:
"She was, at the end of the day, an immature, disadvantaged girl without any effective parental guidance."Denying the charge of murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, the girl, herself, excused her own behaviour thus:
"I walked off site after lighting the curtains. I didn't expect it to go that big at all."She admitted in police interviews that she felt 'angry' and liked to 'scare' the staff who, she insisted, did not listen to her.
A meeting with her father had been scheduled, whom she had not seen since she was a baby, on the day after she killed Elizabeth. She admitted to being annoyed by the state of the car in which her care worker was about to drive her down to London, saying:
"We were talking about me going to my dad's and I said that I didn't want to go in the company car. It was filthy and I was complaining about that to her, I also wanted to have some money. I had £2 in my pocket and she said I couldn't have any more money until I had done my chores of vacuuming my room."The jury were played a recoring of Elizabeth's six-and-a-half minute phone call to the emergency services:
"I can't breathe," she said.
"It is really hot, I can see the flames, help me."The operator tried to reassure her but events were overtaking her reasurances and Elizabeth was desperate now.
"I can't get out. I am upstairs in a back bedroom... The fire is in the kitchen at the moment. She has been setting fire to it. I've got a towel but the smoke is coming underneath the door and it is also coming upstairs as well... Everything has gone off, I am in the darkness now... The smoke is billowing up from the outside as well... Are they going to come and get me? It is getting bad, I am lying on the floor, I can't breathe."Just before the end, Elizabeth said this:
"It is getting really hot underneath, I can see the flames, please don't let me die. I am going to die... I'm going to lose consciousness in a minute, please help me... I'm losing it, I know I am. I am hurting, it is hurting my chest. It is really hot."Her final words to the operator, as the line went dead, were "help me."
Some of the jurors wept and Mrs. Justice Rafferty looked visibly moved as they heard the recording. The Judge said this to the teenage murderess:
"The evil act that you did, petulant and demanding that you were, was one that robbed a husband and three young children of a devoted, loving wife and mother... You were responsible for an awful death. No one who heard it will ever forget that 999 call."After the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Davey, the senior investigating officer, said:
"The defendant knew that Liz was in the upstairs office and was making a call about the fire in the kitchen. The defendant had seen the effect of lighting papers on the notice board and how the heat and flames quickly melted the plastic clock above it. She lit fires knowing there was no opportunity available for Liz to put out the fire. Then she walked away, leaving all the doors open, allowing the air to feed the fire and smoke to fill the house."The fact that one or two members of the jury shed a few tears didn't persuade them to find this dreadful creature guilty of murder.
She got off with the lesser sentence of manslaughter. And, though Justice Rafferty got a bit misty-eyed herself, she wasn't unhappy enough to send a youthful psychopath to a young offender's institution for anything more than six years.
Six years for a wonderful woman's life. Out in three. Out in three to burn your house down if you p*** her off and she feels like it. I wouldn't turn a hair if someone told me that a long bench of Judges had just been tipped over the edge of the world.
Sometimes, I have a similar feeling about a jury a two.
When I, originally, commented upon this event back in 2002, I opined thus:
"I have never been able to discover the ethnicity of the killer. However, I reckon it's a shades of odds-on that she is black. She came from London. Lots more black folk in London than anywhere else in the country.When Elizabeth's husband contacted me, I asked him about the ethnicity of his wife's killer.
Her petulant, thick, selfish, aggressive and attitudinous behaviour is not unique to black youth but, well, compare the gun-toting, twelve-year-old, crackhead hoodie from Brixton with the surly, glue-sniffing, dope from Staines who nicks his Grandma's purse and tops himself in Feltham after an asylum-seeker blows him a kiss.
Her deadbeat mother had had enough of her by the time she was twelve and offloaded her into the well-meaning clutches of a 'care' system utterly hamstrung by political correctness and the law.
The English mother is, generally, inclined to persevere with their dreadful offspring beyond the point where goodbyes are appropriate. This is not always the case in the black community.
Her deadbeat dad disappeared when she was one year old. Behaviour not as unusual as it used to be in the white community, the ordinarily irresponsible carry-on for many's the blackfeller down the centuries.
One more thing, if the teenager was white, I think we would know about it. The powers-that-be are wont to remind us, ad nauseam, what Ivan and Ivana-the-Terribles we white types are. I reckon a cause-celebre like this would be just too juicy for the mind-moulders to pass up.
I might be wrong.
Let me know if I am."
She is, as I suspected, black.
Until recently, civilisation had dealt with its many monsters in a most commonsensical way. It made the bad afraid to be bad, usually by the liberal use of capital and corporal punishment. If little-miss-murderess had had her behind whacked now and again with a big, thick stick, do you think she would have done what she did?
I don't think she would.
Pictured below is a lovely woman, an English wife and mother, who went into the caring profession because she wanted to do some good, not because she felt like screwing around with the rest of us.
All she got for her pains was a lonely and terifying death at the hands of Big Brother and one of his most promising footsoldiers.