Schoolboy, 17, who murdered animal rescue volunteer, 54, with an axe and samurai sword at her remote Welsh home after viewing extreme violence is named as judge jails him for 15 years
- The body of 54-year-old Fiona Scourfield was found at her farm on March 6
- Rueben Braithwaite, 17, admitted to the murder of his stepmother at her home
- Schoolboy lured Mrs Scourfield out of her home, saying there was an injured cat
- Braithwaite was jailed for life today, with a minimum tariff of at least 15 years
A schoolboy who admitted murdering his stepmother using an axe and a samurai sword at her remote farmhouse has been jailed for life.
Rueben Braithwaite, 17, admitted to the murder of Fiona Scourfield at Swansea Crown Court in July and has been given life imprisonment today, with a minimum tariff of 15 years.
The body of Mrs Scourfield was found at Broadmoor Farm, near Laugharne in Carmarthenshire, on March 6.
Rueben Braithwaite, 17, admitted to her murder of Fiona Scourfield at Swansea Crown Court in July and has been given life imprisonment today
The body of 54-year-old Fiona Scourfield was found at Broadmoor Farm, near Laugharne in Carmarthenshire, on March 6
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The teenager is said to have carried out the sickening attack after viewing videos of extreme violence, including beheadings and mass killings, on the website 4chan.
Braithwaite lured the 54-year-old victim out of her house by saying there was an injured cat before he used an axe to batter her over the head seven times before slicing her throat with a samurai sword.
After carrying out the attack, he took two photographs of the victim lying in a pool of her own blood, which he intended to upload on the internet.
Braithwaite told a 999 operator that his motive for the attack was that he was unhappy with his own life and wanted to be arrested. He also claimed he was too scared to commit suicide.
The court heard he planned the murder her the night before as he was laying in bed.
After his arrest Braithwaite told police: ‘I wanted to kill her without distress.
‘I wanted her dead so that i could have a life. But I didn’t want to kill her in any psychotic way.’
Police at the entrance of Broadmoor, a property near St Clears in Carmarthenshire, Wales
The sickening attack was carried out in March this year. Braithwaite has now been jailed for a minimum of 15 years
Braithwaite helped his stepmother look after her menagerie of 32 animals at her log cabin standing in 16 acres of the Welsh countryside.
The court heard March 6 was a ‘normal day’ – the teenager had come home from school to feed the chickens and goats as usual.
Prosecutor John Hipkin said: ‘The boy said after feeding the animals he went outside and grabbed an axe from a workshop.’
After carrying out the attack, he called police about the twisted attack and told them ‘I’ve got blood on my hands’.
‘After the blood stopped flowing I used my mobile phone to call the police.’
Braithwaite admitted murder at an earlier hearing. He was 16 at the time of the attack and is now 17.
There were sobs from the public gallery as a victim impact statement from Mrs Scourfield’s mother Charlotte was read to the court.
Braithwaite was just 16-years-old when he murdered his stepmother Fiona Scourfield (pictured)
She said: ‘It is beyond comprehension that he could murder the person who looked after him for the last four years.’
Paul Hobson, defending, said: ‘He has committed a dreadful crime against Fiona Scourfield who was devoted to her family, friends and animals.
‘He has thrown away his future at the age of 16.
‘If he was an adult the starting point for sentencing would have been 25 years.’
Judge Mr Justice Picken jailed Braithwaite for life with the recommendation he serves a minimum of 15 years.
He said: ‘You made a clear decision to go and find the weapons and use them with the sole intention of killing Mrs Scourfield.’
He added: ‘The savagery of the attack on a woman who cared for you makes it all the more worse.’
Ms Scourfield, who grew up in Laugharne, was a volunteer with the UK German Shepherd Rescue charity.
In a tribute released after her death her family said: ‘Fiona was a loving and caring person who will be remembered for her kindness, especially her kindness to animals.
‘We would like to thank everyone for their support at this horrific time. It has meant so much to the whole family.
‘We are distraught by our loss.’
Today a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons,admitted her murder when he appeared in the dock at Swansea Crown Court
In the aftermath of the tragedy Suzanne Syers, a trustee at the charity, said: ‘Fiona basically ran Wales for us.
‘She would travel to check on dog welfare and fundraised all over for us, including in Carmarthen’s Morrisons and Pets At Home shops.
‘She loved what she did with us, she was so passionate about dogs and animals. She came to us eight years ago when we first started the charity. It was then that she adopted her dog, Bruno, who she adored.
‘She adored all animals and was so caring. We are all devastated here, she was loved by us all.’
Reporting restrictions were lifted to allow Braithwaite to be named and photographed.
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