Emily Longley's killer jailed for life

By Staff reporter, agencies

Elliot Turner. Photo / Supplied
Elliot Turner. Photo / Supplied

The killer of Emily Longley was told last night to put away his "thoughts of champagne, Bentleys and girls and think about why you are serving a life sentence".

The comment came from Justice Linda Dobbs as she jailed Elliot Turner for life with a minimum parole period of 16 years.

The sentence was imposed in Winchester Crown Court late last night, New Zealand time.

Turner, 20, was found guilty early yesterday morning of strangling the 17-year-old New Zealand student in a jealous rage during a drink-fuelled argument at his parents' home in Bournemouth on May 7 last year.

His father, jeweller Leigh Turner, 54, and healthcare assistant mother Anita, 51, were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice by trying to cover up the murder. Their sentencing date has not been set.

Elliot was also sentenced to nine months for perverting the course of justice, to run concurrently.

With time already served, he could be free in 15 years.

Emily's parents, Mark and Caroline, sat in the well of the court to face Turner as he was sentenced.

Turner's father was also in court, but his mother was not present.

As the hearing reconvened, the court's public gallery was packed and all but one of the jurors was in court to witness the sentencing.

Justice Dobbs said Turner's lack of remorse was chilling.

Turner, wearing a smart suit and and open-neck shirt, said "bullshit" as the sentence was imposed.

The judge told him: "By your actions you have deprived a large, tight knit family of a daughter, granddaughter and sister.

"You have deprived young people here and in New Zealand of a good friend."

The judge said Turner had said he loved Emily, but "you did not love her - she was just a trophy".

"Your arrogance during your relationship with Emily Longley, during your time on remand and even throughout this trial has been breathtaking.

"Your lack of remorse is chilling."

She said the murder had been premeditated, to which Turner mouthed "bullshit".

Afterwards, Emily's father, Mark, said: "We are extremely relieved this has come to an end and we can put this behind us.

"His lack of remorse has been chilling and every day his mum has looked me in the eye.

"I wasn't surprised Elliot showed no reaction although I'm sure he will be feeling it."

Emily's mum Caroline said: "I found it fantastic to look him in the eye when the judge was saying those things and gave him a telling off.

"What the judge said to him was almost to the word what we wanted to say."

Earlier one of Turner's closest friends said the killer had revelled in the notoriety of having been arrested on suspicion of Emily's murder and told strangers to search for his name on the internet.

Liam Costello said Turner went out on drunken nights and had boasted, "Now the bitch is dead, I can get any bird I want".

His mother threw "support Elliot" parties for her son while murder squad detectives were investigating Emily's death at their home.

Speaking on the day Turner was found guilty, Mr Costello, 21, said he had shown no emotion over Emily's death.

He said he was shocked and sickened to discover his friend of eight years was capable of murder.

"Turner has remained so convinced he was going to be cleared he has been bragging in letters from his prison cell that he'll soon be out driving a new Range Rover and moving to Spain."

Mr Costello said he believed Turner had planned Emily's murder for weeks. Three weeks before her death, Turner had quizzed him on how to perform the "sleeper hold" - a martial arts move the prosecution claimed he used to commit the murder.

Mr Costello, a 3D architectural designer, said: "I do martial arts and Turner asked me to show him how to do a sleeper hold choke.

"I showed him how to put your arm around someone's neck and an arm around the back of the head.

"Looking back, I can now see he definitely was planning what he was going to do which is sickening."

Mr Costello said that a few nights before Emily died, Turner told him he was going to kill her.

"He said, 'I might get 15 years in prison but I'll still come out a millionaire'. He was such a joker none of us ever took anything he said seriously. Now I wish I had."

- NZ Herald

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