Emma Hall’s sentence increased for part in murdering teen Luke Harwood in Woodford Green
- Credit: Archant
The woman jailed for life for her part in murdering teen Luke Harwood in Woodford Green must serve a minimum of 17 years, the Court of Appeal ruled today – an extension of the 15 to which she was originally sentenced.
It brings Hall’s minimum term in line with that of her former boyfriend and co-accused Tony O’Toole.
Hall, 21, along with James Danby, 27, and O’Toole, 30, was found guilty of Luke’s murder at the Old Bailey in April.
On May 27, 2012, Luke was wrongly accused of rape by a visitor to the council house he shared with his killers – 72, Crow Lane, Romford.
Emma Hall vowed to “f***ing kill him” but it was Danby who set upon Luke, punching him so hard he thought he’d broken his knuckles doing so.
Hall stayed in her room during the gruesome attack.
She then drove Danby, O’Toole and a still-conscious Luke to playing fields in Broadmead Road, Woodford Green, where Danby and O’Toole took the slightly built young dad to the bank of a stream and “finished him off”, with Danby stamping on his victim’s head until it exploded.
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Appeal judges Lord Justice Treacy, Mr Justice Macduff and Mr Justice Dingemans declined to reduce O’Toole’s minimum term from 17 years, or Danby’s from 25.
England’s senior law officer, Attorney General Dominic Grieve, had called for Hall’s sentence to be reviewed – along with that of Billy Duggan, 21, who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Both, it was suggested, were unduly lenient.
Duggan’s sentence was not changed, but Hall was told her original sentence had been “inadequate”.
“Emma Hall incited the [attack in Luke’s bedroom] and was party to the murder,” said Lord Justice Treacy.
“It was undoubtedly Hall whose behaviour triggered these events.
“Luke Harwood wouldn’t have been transported to the place where he was killed but for her actions.
“He must have suffered pain, fear and anguish before he died.
“She contacted police and gave an account of the night’s incident, but she was plainly motivated by self-interest in this respect.”
He added: “Emma Hall should have received a minimum term of at least the same length as that imposed on Tony O’Toole.
“Accordingly, we allow the application.”
Duggan had walked free after being handed a suspended two-year prison sentence in April.
He was not present during Luke’s killing, but had gone with Danby to help mutilate the body when he was apprehended and arrested on a tip-off from Hall.
Hall, who appeared through a video link to HMP Holloway, closed her eyes and lowered her head into her hands as she was told she would not leave prison until at least the age of 38.
Luke’s family, including his mother Caroline and girlfriend Hannah Page, were in court to see the sentences reviewed.