Ob­sessed by ex­treme vi­o­lence, teenager told po­lice he wanted to ‘shock peo­ple, to change my life’

Western Mail - - NEWS - JA­SON EVANS, IAN LEWIS and DAVID JAMES news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

RUEBEN Brath­waite was 12 years old when he went to live with his dad and step­mum Fiona Scour­field at Broad­moor Farm near Laugh­arne in 2013.

Five years later, he would re­turn home from school, lure kind­hearted an­i­mallover Ms Scour­field out of the farm­house and cold-heart­edly mur­der her with an axe and a samu­rai sword.

Af­ter the killing, friends would de­scribe the 54-year-old vic­tim as a “quiet girl, unas­sum­ing and lovely” who “worked tire­lessly to make the world a bet­ter place for an­i­mals” through her work with UK Ger­man Shep­herd Res­cue.

De­sen­si­tised through his ap­par­ent fas­ci­na­tion with gore-filled images online, the teenager had watched her blood drain out of her be­fore call­ing po­lice.

He would later tell of­fi­cers he was “con­vinced he had to do it” and that his “mo­ti­va­tion was to shock peo­ple, to change my life”.

The full de­tails of his mon­strous crime can be re­ported for the first time af­ter Brath­waite was jailed for life with a min­i­mum of 15 years and the re­port­ing re­stric­tions which pre­vented news or­gan­i­sa­tions from pub­lish­ing his name, as he is only 17 years old, were lifted.

At Swansea Crown Court on Fri­day, sen­tenc­ing judge Mr Jus­tice Picken was told that in the 12 months be­fore the mur­der Brath­waite had be­come fas­ci­nated by online ma­te­rial about mass killings, sui­cides and be­head­ings, and spent a lot of time view­ing such ma­te­rial.

In his sen­tenc­ing re­marks Mr Jus­tice Picken said it was im­por­tant the pub­lic were aware of this, so there could be an “in­formed de­bate” about such ma­te­rial.

Dur­ing ear­lier hear­ings, judges and mag­is­trates in Swansea and Llanelli had been told how he had spent hours on US web­site 4chan, which spe­cialises in ex­treme and graphic con­tent.

Af­ter the killing, he would try to up­load images of his dy­ing step­mum on to the site but the up­loads failed as he was al­ready banned.

Po­lice re­cov­ered more graphic videos from his phone de­pict­ing road traf­fic ac­ci­dents and mu­ti­lated bod­ies.

“The boy said he had be­come de­sen­si­tised to gore and was used to see­ing blood,” pros­e­cu­tor El­lie Mor­gan had told Llanelli Mag­is­trates’ Court at an early hear­ing.

The day when Brath­waite turned his in­ter­net fas­ci­na­tion with blood and gore into mur­der was in spring this year, on Tues­day, March 6. He lived at the farm be­tween St Clears and Laugh­arne in a log cabin with his fa­ther and step­mother.

On the day of the killing, he caught the school bus home to the farm and had a cup of tea with his step­mum and her mother. He would later de­scribe it as a “nor­mal school day”.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing their fam­ily tea, Ms Scour­field’s mum left the log cabin and Brath­waite went to tend the chick­ens and other an­i­mals. At one of his first hear­ings in mag­is­trates’ court, pros­e­cu­tor Ms Mor­gan out­lined the se­quence of events to the bench.

She told them: “Po­lice re­ceived a call at 5.47pm from [Brath­waite] who said, ‘I’ve just killed some­one at home’.”

When po­lice at­tended wear­ing body cam­eras, the footage showed a boy meet­ing them on the farm track with his hands in the air.

“He said he had killed his fa­ther’s part­ner,” Ms Mor­gan told the court. “The boy was calm and co­her­ent when the of­fi­cer asked him what hap­pened. He said he had killed her with an axe and samu­rai sword.”

The of­fi­cer found Ms Scour­field slumped against her front door with her throat slit and cov­ered in blood. A short­handled axe was inside the door of an out­build­ing. The court heard Ms Scour­field had been struck to the head and neck and had suf­fered in­juries caused by a sword and an axe.

In in­ter­views with of­fi­cers, Brath­waite told po­lice how he had “grabbed the axe from the workshop and samu­rai sword from un­der his fa­ther’s bed.”

Ap­peal­ing to his step­mum’s kindly na­ture, he tapped on the liv­ing room win­dow and called her out­side, telling her that “there was an in­jured cat out­side”.

She went out and he “struck her with the blunt end of the axe” ren­der­ing her un­con­scious. He then hit her an­other six or seven times to the head as she lay de­fence­less on the floor.

Brath­waite then used “the sword to slice her neck”. He then waited for blood to stop flow­ing be­fore call­ing po­lice.

Mag­is­trates heard that he told po­lice he was “con­vinced he had to do it” so “peo­ple would know what he had done”.

Ms Mor­gan said Brath­waite told po­lice his “mo­ti­va­tion was to shock peo­ple, to change my life”.

> Rueben Brath­waite de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in ‘mur­der, death and mu­ti­la­tion’ while look­ing at Amer­i­can web­site 4chan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.