Three convicted of murdering teen Luke Harwood in Woodford Green
- Credit: Archant
A psychopathic “monster” and two accomplices who stamped slightly-built teenager Luke Harwood to death are facing life sentences after being found guilty of murder today
James Danby, 27, Emma Hall and Tony O’Toole, 30, have all been found guilty of murder.
Danby and O’Toole jumped on Luke’s head until it popped, then hid the 18-year-old’s body under a mattress in a stream.
Danby spent the following day bragging about the grisly details of the murder and that the killing had promoted him into the “A-Team” of crime.
He planned to slice off the Harold Hill teen’s fingers and pull out his teeth to prevent his body being identified.
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But he was arrested on the journey to the body with a pair of pliers and three kitchen knives after second accomplice, Hall, 21, could stand the violence no longer and called police.
Luke’s horrific death so incensed friends and family that a team of police officers from the Territorial Support Group was brought into the Old Bailey to keep them apart from supporters of the defendants.
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His mother sat through the entire case and wept as some of the “extraordinary evidence of sheer brutality” was put before the court.
One police officer said: “There is only one word you can use to describe James Danby - psychopath.”
The killers tried to blame each other for the killing and O’Toole said Danby was a “monster” who had destroyed all their lives.
But the three were all convicted of murder after the jury spent ten days deliberating.
Jovan Roberts, 28, was cleared of murder.
As the jury deliberated Luke’s sister Charmaine Harwood gave birth to a baby boy who was named Luke in his honour.
Billy Duggan, 21, was convicted of perverting the course of justice but the jury are yet to reach a verdict on the conspiracy charge against him.
Khalid Hassan, 20, was cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Luke, who was 5ft 7ins tall and weighed just seven stone, was one of a family of six children and had a son who was eight months old when he died.
He had been living with his son and the baby’s mother, Hannah Page, but in the weeks before he had been arguing with his girlfriend and had asked to be rehoused by the Havering Council.
On the night he died, Sunday, May 27 last year, he moved to the room at the council bungalow at Crow Lane - where Danby and the others lived.
The house had been divided into seven bedsit rooms with five on the ground floor and two more in the loft.
Behind the house were two more buildings not controlled by the council.
By chance an 18 year-old girl visiting the house that evening saw Luke and claimed he had bestially raped her two years before.
Her complaint had been dropped after she was interviewed by police, who found her accusation was untrue.