Facebook killer gets life term

Serial sex offender lured teenager with fake profile

Facebook killer gets life term

Peter Chapman was told he must serve at least 35 years in prison by judge Peter Fox today, following the killing of Ashleigh Hall, who was 17. The judge said he was “a very great danger to young women, and for what it is worth, I cannot foresee your release.”

Sentencing him at Teesside crown court, the judge said Chapman had been the architect of “an evil scheme, very carefully brought, and with considerable detail, to trap your victim”. The killer had claimed to be a handsome teenager and used the profile to lure the teenager into meeting him after he befriended her through Facebook.

Double rapist

In reality, he was an emaciated, 33-year-old convicted double rapist, who was almost toothless and living in his car. Graham Reeds QC, for the prosecution, told the court Chapman had claimed to be called DJ Pete or Pete Cartwright. “The photograph is not of him. It is of a barechested and good-looking boy, who is apparently in his late teens.”

Chapman was, in fact, “a somewhat plainer-looking man who could pass for being rather older than his 33 years. When she met him on October 25 last year, he kidnapped, raped and murdered her.” The night before Ashleigh’s body was found, she had told her mother she was going to stay with a friend.

In order to entice her into his car, Chapman sent her a text message saying the boy’s father would pick her up. He texted her to say: “My dad’s on his way, babe.” She replied: “He’s here, babe.” Once in the car, he attacked her. Ashleigh’s body was found dumped in a field in October. Her arms were bound and tape was put over her face, suffocating her to death.

Chance arrest

Chapman was arrested by chance in a separate police inquiry after a nationwide alert went out to trace his car after he had failed to comply with the requirements of his sex offenders’ registration. During initial interviews he told police they could “crush his car”. He later lost his nerve and confessed to murder. Seen on CCTV at Middlesbrough police station, he tells a custody officer: “I killed someone last night.

I need to tell somebody from CID where the body is. It hasn’t been reported yet.” Chapman, who was brought up by his grandparents in Stockton-on-Tees, has a history of sexual offending. He was the subject of several sexual assault investigations, beginning when he was 15. Four years later, in 1996, he received a seven-year prison sentence for raping two prostitutes at knifepoint.

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