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Hannah Bonser jailed for life for Casey Kearney park murder

Casey Kearney was found lying fatally injured in Elmfield Park, Doncaster in February. Photo: Family handout

A woman who stabbed a teenager to death as she walked through a park in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has been jailed for life.

Hannah Bonser, 26, has been told she will serve a minimum of 22 years in prison for the murder of Casey Kearney, who she randomly attacked in Elmfield Park, on Valentine's Day.

Casey, 13, was heading for a sleepover at a friend's house when she was stabbed once by Bonser with a 16cm kitchen knife she had bought earlier.

The teenager called 999 but only managed to say she had been stabbed. She later died in hospital.

Hannah Bonser has been jailed for life for the murder of Casey Kearney Credit: Press Association

Earlier, Bonser - who has a long history of mental health problems and cannabis abuse - showed no emotion when the jury foreman returned the verdict of guilty of murder after two hours of deliberation.

The judge, Mr Justice Cranston, told Sheffield Crown Court Casey's family had reacted with "enormous dignity" as they listened to the details of her death.

He added: "Casey did not deserve this. She had done nothing wrong."

ITV News reporter Rupert Evelyn reports.

In a statement, Casey's father Anthony Kearney said:

We think the jury has come to thecorrect decision in convicting Bonser withthe murder of Casey.

There was never a doubt in our minds this was a calculatedand deliberate act and therefore deserves the maximum sentence our judicialsystem allows.

Anthony Kearney, father of Casey Kearney, outside Sheffield Crown Court, Credit: Dave Higgens/PA Wire

No sentence will bring Casey back to us and the severity of Bonser's actions means we will never have the privilege of her in our lives again."

– Casey's father Anthony Kearney
Mourners lay tributes following the death of Casey Kearney. Credit: Press Association

Detective Superintendent Terry Mann, from South Yorkshire Police, said: "This was a terrible, unprovoked and random attack on an innocent young girl, robbing her and her loving family of her future years".

He also paid tribute to Casey's family, saying: "They have conducted themselves with the utmost dignity and I offer them my deepest sympathy.

"We hope that they can now find some solace in the guilty verdict for Hannah Bonser and now begin to rebuild their lives."

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