Home-schooled teenage girl, 14, beat grandmother with electric guitar

Home-schooled teenage girl, 14, beat grandmother with electric guitar as part of ‘naive’ plot to kill relative then drive to Scotland and ‘start a European revolution’ with 13-year-old boyfriend

  • Teenage girl attacked her grandmother at their home in Shanklin, Isle of Wight
  • The 14-year-old girl admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent in court
  • Sentenced to 24 month youth rehab order in which she has three month curfew

A 14-year-old girl attacked her grandmother with an electric guitar after hatching a plot to murder her, steal a car and drive to Scotland, then ‘start a revolution’, a court has heard.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sneaked up on her grandmother as she was cooking dinner and repeatedly hit her on the head with her guitar in their home in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, on February 19.      

The teenager begrudged living with and being home-schooled by her grandmother  and became ‘very isolated’ as she ‘lived in a virtual world’ with no real life friends or social interaction.

She ‘desperately wanted freedom’ so devised a ‘wholly naive’ plot to murder her grandmother so she could drive 525 miles to meet her 13-year-old ‘boyfriend’ in Scotland and ‘start a revolution in Europe’. 

The girl even laid out her murder plans to her four online friends weeks before, asking for their help and even spoke of hiring a hitman, Swindon Crown Court heard.

The teenager was charged with attempted murder but admitted an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. 

The 14-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with attempted murder but admitted an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent at Swindon Crown Court

She was sentenced to a 24 month youth rehab order in which she has a three month curfew at a property in the South and must carry out a 90 day activity requirement.

Prosecutor Robert Welling told the crown court: ‘She felt it was the only way she could have the freedom, the freedom she so desperately wanted, because she was being stifled by living with her.’

The grandmother, in her 50s, said ‘the whole thing is a nightmare’.

Sitting in the dock, the teenager said ‘this is a good thing, right?’ after she was given a youth rehabilitation order.

The court heard the teenager was kicked out of three mainstream schools, her father was estranged, and her mother could not care for her due to her issues.

Mr Welling said: ‘What it meant was she was being home-schooled and very isolated from young people her age and this situation was exacerbated by the lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘She lived in a virtual world, she spent most of her time socialising over the internet.’

In messages to four online friends, she said she ‘wanted to leave’ and outlined her plans.

In one text, she said she wanted to ‘kill her grandmother’, that she was ‘going to do it’, and said she ‘wanted their help’.

Mr Welling said in another message the girl told a friend ‘once grandmother was out of the way she would not need permission to go and see her’.

Mr Welling said: ‘One message sent in the early hours set out what she would do – she would wait until she was asleep and either use a knife or her guitars to kill her.’

He continued: ‘She thought they could take her grandfather’s car, collect a friend, and make their way to Scotland and start a revolution in Europe.

The teenager devised a plot to murder her grandmother so she could drive from her home in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, to meet her 13-year-old ‘boyfriend’ in Scotland

‘It was a wholly naive and ridiculous plan, one that portrays the immaturity of that individual.’

Concerns were raised the girl was being groomed online, however there was no evidence. Her friends thought she was ‘joking’ about her plans.

She attacked her grandmother in the kitchen as the unsuspecting woman cooked dinner.

She had been ‘annoyed’ as her grandmother took her phone off her and turned the internet off.

Mr Welling said: ‘She struck her on the back of the head with the heavy end of a bass guitar.

‘It took [the grandmother] by surprise, she thought the ceiling had collapsed in on her head, then she saw the girl swinging at her again.

‘Despite pleading with her, the girl told her it had to be done so she couldn’t ring the police.

‘It continued into the hallway, the girl got an electric guitar and struck her again to the upper part of her body.’

Mr Welling said the girl inflicted up to five blows in a ‘persistent assault’ but stopped as she suddenly became ‘frightened’ and retreated to another room and neighbours rushed over after hearing screams.

Mr Welling said although her injuries were painful, the grandmother suffered ‘little more than bleeding and bruises’.

In her victim impact statement, she said: ‘I feel in shock… The whole thing is a nightmare and I want it to be over.’

She said the teenager had a ‘robotic look on her face’ and a ‘lack of emotion’ as she attacked her.

The grandmother also said the girl had been ‘failed’ by mental health services and she had tried to get her help for years.

She added: ‘This is a girl who believes she would be a mermaid or My Little Pony if she died… I think she is a victim here.

‘I want her to be safe and secure and get the treatment she needs. I want her to know how serious what she did was.’

Judge Peter Crabtree said: ‘This is quite an exceptional case.’

He was satisfied she tried to cause ‘really serious harm at a grave level’. 

Medical experts said the girl showed signs of ADHD and autism, but suffered neurodevelopmental issues which were hampered by a lack of social activity and an ‘assertive’ grandmother.

Barrister Jodie Mittell, representing the girl, said: ‘This is a very sad case dealing with a young person in a desperate situation, as she perceived it to be.

‘The most important part is her welfare and preventing future re-offending.’

Judge Crabtree also raised concerns about the girls’ internet use.

When asked if she could live without internet, she said: ‘It would be hard to try to resist, my whole life was on the computer and seeing computers now just makes me want to go on them but I think I can do it.’

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