A teenage boy reportedly obsessed with TV serial killer Dexter has been sentenced in the dismemberment and murder of his girlfriend.
Steven Miles, now 17, murdered his girlfriend Elizabeth Thomas in the bedroom of his home in Oxted, Surrey on January 24, 2014.
Miles had been diagnosed with an autistic syndrome and told his family he had an alter ego named Ed who had instructed him to kill someone, reports The Mirror.
“Ed made me do something bad,” Miles told his sister when she came home about an hour after the murder.
In court, it was revealed that Miles had a fascination with horror movies, the macabre, and had wanted to emulate the actions of fictitious serial killer Dexter, from the TV series of the same name.
Miles stabbed Elizabeth in the head and back, then dismembered her legs and arm, and wrapped them in clingfilm and put them in garbage bags.
Saws and tools from his father’s tree surgery business were used to cut up her body, reports The Guardian.
“This was a truly gruesome killing ripped from the pages of a hit TV script. The evidence points to the defendant trying to emulate the actions of the character Dexter, who he idolized,” Miles’ attorney Lewis Power QC said. “The case is a sad testament to the perils of how young people can become entrenched in modern TV blockbusters involving violence which shockingly led to a copycat killing in real life.”
Psychiatrists found Miles was not schizophrenic and therefore could not use the defense of diminished responsibility. They could not fully understand the alter ego of Ed.
Miles pleaded guilty on all counts in the case.
At the sentencing hearing the judge Christopher Critchlow said he found the murder to be predetermined and that he would have given Miles a life term had he been an adult, but since Miles is a child that sentence is not allowed.
"This is a case of the utmost gravity, the horrific features of which are rarely heard in any court.,” judge Critchlow said. “Nothing this court can say or do, no sentence this court can impose can alleviate the pain suffered by Elizabeth Thomas' family for death in such a terrible manner. There must be a life sentence."
Judge Critchlow made an impactful statement during the hearing in regards to Elizabeth’s family.
“It’s hard for this court to remain unemotional. Their lives have been changed forever. It’s difficult to find the right words to describe the enormity of what you did to an innocent girl of 17 and a half,” judge Critchlow said.
“You decided, at the age of 16, you had to kill somebody, you chose Elizabeth Thomas, who tragically befriended you and who had stood up for you when people described you as different. It’s chilling to read that you described her on occasion as your project,” judge Critchlow added.
Miles was sentenced to 25 years in prison.