12:59pm UK, Monday April 02, 2012
A schoolboy who claimed he was inspired by a plot from Coronation Street to kill his mother with a hammer has been detained for a minimum of 16 years.
Daniel Bartlam attempted to commit the “perfect murder” by emulating the ITV1 soap opera villain John Stape, who had also killed a woman with a hammer.
The 15-year-old admitted killing his mother, Jacqueline, but claimed it was not murder because he had lost self control.
However earlier this year, a jury at Nottingham Crown Court found him guilty of murder.
The court heard that police found a montage of scenes from various TV soaps on the teenager’s home computer – including fires and a hammer murder.
He had also accessed websites such as How To Get Away With Murder.
At Easter last year, Bartlam went into his mother’s bedroom at around 1am and beat her over the head with a hammer, seven times.
He then wrapped his mother’s body in newspaper and set her alight. He also planted another hammer at the scene.
He told police that a man had entered the house and thrown a hammer at him, he had thrown it back, and the intruder had then murdered his mother.
But the hammer that was used at the scene was not the same one that could have caused the injuries that his mother had died from.
Mrs Bartlam’s body was so badly burned that she could only be identified from dental records.
Local authorities had referred Bartlam to a counsellor after he complained of hearing voices but a psychiatrist found he was not mentally ill.
In passing sentence, the judge told Bartlam: “It seems you wanted to get away with the perfect murder. This was a grotesque and senseless killing.
“There was a significant degree of planning and pre-meditation.”
It was only that Bartlam left the “wrong kind of hammer at the scene and that her body was not fully burned that stopped you getting away with murder”, the judge added.