Watch report by ITV Meridian's Derek Johnson
A man has been jailed for life for brutally murdering two of his friends at their Basingstoke home while their toddler slept in the next room.
Stanley Elliott, 53, has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 34 years for the murders of Geoffrey Hibbert, 61, and his wife Michelle, 29.
He had denied two counts of murder but was convicted following a four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court on Friday 4 March.
The couple were stabbed to death after returning home from a night out in Reading on June 19 2021.
Mr Hibbert suffered 58 stab wounds and Mrs Hibbert died due to blood loss from stab wounds, including seven to her neck.
Stanley Elliott, of Kiln Road in Sherborne St John, had been babysitting for the couple's young child, at their house in Buckland Avenue, Basingstoke.
During the trial, the court heard the harrowing moment Mrs Hibbert made a distressing 999 call using Elliott’s mobile phone to report that her husband had been stabbed. She said she had also been attacked and named her attacker as 'Stan Elliott'.
Giving evidence at the trial, a police worker who received the call described it as “one of the most harrowing calls” he had ever taken.
Police were dispatched to the property in Buckland Avenue at 1.59am on Sunday 20 June 2021.
The jury at Winchester Crown Court was told Mr Hibbert and Elliott had both been charged with a burglary on Buzz Bingo in Basingstoke Leisure Park.
Detective Constable Thomas Bailey told the court the pair had both denied the offences and the court process had been proceeding at the time of Mr Hibbert's murder.
Under questioning from prosecutors, Det, Con. Bailey said investigators believed the pair had hidden in the toilets before breaking into the bingo hall, with Mr Hibbert getting in through a roof panel before letting Elliott in through the door.
The court heard that the balaclava-clad men then rummaged through the safe and took £28,500 during the raid on January 8, 2020.
Prosecutor Sarah Jones QC told the court the pair had been tracked down after contractors repairing the damage to the roof found a pink iPhone that contained photos of Mr Hibbert and his family, as well as messages containing his full names and address and his Apple ID.
Ms Jones told the court that only hours before the Hibberts were murdered, Mr Hibbert had filed a defence statement to the court saying that he had loaned his phone to Elliott, who had then lost it.
After the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Tina Lowe said: “Our thoughts, first and foremost, are with the families and friends of Geoffrey and Michelle Hibbert.
“This was a senseless and horrific incident which resulted in two people losing their lives and a young child losing his parents.
“I hope Geoffrey and Michelle’s family will be able to feel a small sense of comfort that justice has been delivered and that Stanley Elliott will spend a long time in prison for what he has done.
“Parts of the investigation were particularly harrowing and I would like to commend my staff for handling the case professionally and with the victims at the forefront of their minds throughout.”