Daughter says it's 'unforgivable' mum's killer, 17, made them hear graphic details
Lindsay Birbeck's daughter Sarah told her teen killer Rocky Marciano Price he had not only robbed a family of her beloved mum- but also forced them to hear brutal details of her death
A heartbreaking statement on behalf of the slain teaching assistant's daughter, Sarah Birbeck, has been read to court this morning as her mum's killer was sentenced.Rocky Marciano Price, 17, attacked mum-of-two Lindsay in woods close to her home in Lancashire.
Price later moved her body in a bin to Accrington Cemetery, where he buried her in a shallow grave.His victim was discovered wrapped in two plastic bags on August 24 last year – 12 days after she went missing.This morning Price has been sentenced to life and ordered to serve a minimum 16 years in custody. He will only be released after a parole board decides he is not a danger.
Sarah's statement said it was "unforgivable" Price had not pleaded guilty and spared the family further pain after he had already robbed them of her mum, reports Lancs Live."To know now that he murdered her for absolutely no reason is heartbreaking and has not sunk in yet. Not within me or other members of my family," Sarah's statement read.
"The fact that he has made us come to court and listen to every graphic detail of my mum's murder when he could have saved us this pain by pleading guilty is unforgivable.This Wednesday, Price was found unanimously guilty at Preston Crown Court of her murder, exactly a year after her disappearance from her home in Huncoat, after she left for a late afternoon walk to nearby woods known as the Coppice.
She had invited her daughter, Sarah, 17, and Sarah’s boyfriend for tea at 6pm, but when she did not return as planned her family raised the alarm.Price, who was 16 at the time, had been on the prowl in the woods for lone females and is thought to have killed Lindsay shortly after she entered the Coppice.
His parents took him to a police station several days after Lindsay was found, when police released a CCTV clip of a young male pulling a blue wheelie bin behind him on Burnley Road.Price, who has autism and learning difficulties, admitted dragging the bin from the Coppice on August 17, with Mrs Birbeck inside, across Burnley Road to the cemetery.
But he claimed he was not involved in her death and that a mystery man had approached him in the area with the promise of a large cash reward if he disposed of the body.Lindsay was identified through dental records and a post-mortem examination concluded the cause of death was neck injuries.
Her naked body was heavily decomposed and no evidence of a sexual assault could be found.Severe compressive force appeared to have been used, according to a Home Office pathologist, which could have been done in several ways including through stamping or kicking, or kneeling on the front of the neck.
An attempt had also been made to cut off a leg, possibly with a saw.Junior prosecutor Simon Driver has read out a powerful and heartbreaking victim personal statement from Lindsay’s daughter.Sarah Birkbeck's statement in full "On August 12, 2019, it was just like any normal day.
"I met my mum and went shopping for some new school uniform and arranged with her to have tea later the same day."Little did I know that day, when I said goodbye to her, it would be the last time I saw her alive."When I went round for tea and she wasn’t there. I sat waiting for her for over an hour with my boyfriend. I couldn’t understand where she could be.
"After an hour I left and went back home. I tried numerous times to contact her not knowing that she was already dead."As a family we have never had any contact with the police before but from the moment she was reported missing I felt like the police were constantly asking us questions and explaining what they were doing to find my mum.
"This felt very weird, like it happens to other families not ours."The next 12 days were absolutely awful not knowing where my mum was or what happened."Initially I think all the family thought she might have had an accident out walking but once mountain rescue had done their search I think deep down I knew it was going to be something bad.
"My mum would not leave us out of choice, I knew that."When the police told us they had found a body we all knew it was her. The last bit of hope we had that she might still be alive was gone."Over the past 12 months it had felt like it has not been real.
"We are a small, very close family and we are all suffering. My brother Steven and I have lost our mum."This wasn’t supposed to happen like this. We are going to grow up without her by our side."We will both have to get married without her there, have children and live the rest of our lives without her love and guidance.
"Steven recently won an award for apprentice of the year. He went to pick up the phone to let my mum know before the lawful realisation that she is no longer her."She is gone forever. Her brother Darryl, my uncle, is really struggling. They grew up very close and remained that way.
"When he married his wife Tracy mum mum sorted out a lot of the arrangements and my uncle said this was one of the best days of his life mainly thanks to her."My granddad has lost a daughter, he feels that you should not outlive your own child.
"My dad Tim was married to my mum although they had separated and I know he is finding it very difficult."He is now a single parent and having to make lots of decisions without my mum for guidance."I know he feels very sad for Steven and I that we have lost our mum and there is nothing he can do to take our pain away.
"My mum was a higher level teaching assistant and the irony is she would have taught boys like the defendant and would have tried her best to help him."To know now that he murdered her for absolutely no reason is heartbreaking and has not sunk in yet. Not within me or other members of my family.
"The fact that he has made us come to court and listen to every graphic detail of my mum's murder when he could have saved us this pain by pleading guilty is unforgivable. Read more: Daily Mirror »
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