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North Essex: Family’s anger over killer party
The Colchester sister of a girl murdered and then burned today said her family was horrified to discover her killer enjoys goulish prison parties.
Quiet Debra Carne, 17, was driven to a country road, killed, doused with petrol and set alight while murderer Emma Last sang “Burn, Baby Burn” in 2002.
It stunned Sible Hedingham, where Debra lived, and villagers, including her aunt and grandmother, have never got over the shock.
Now a photograph of Last, one of the two girls convicted of Debra’s murder, has been published in a national newspaper with her dressed as a witch, enjoying a £500 knees-up at Holloway Prison.
The photo, taken last year, shows the killer, who was 18 when convicted in 2004, with other women murderers dripping with fake blood and wearing fangs.
Debra’s grandmother, Winifred Knight, known as Carol, and sister Rebecca Knight told the Gazette they were “absolutely disgusted” at her behaviour, and lack of remorse.
Miss Knight, 32, of Colchester, said: “It’s disgusting behaviour.
“Why would they want to dress like evil when they are evil?
“You pretty much know that parties and stuff go on in prison but they are all dressed up in their blood and fangs and they have all committed hideous murders.”
Winifred Knight, 82, who raised Rebecca Knight, said she was appalled at seeing the photograph in the newspaper.
She said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. It’s a party, isn’t it?
“I think it’s a good idea if you went out and did something so you have a roof over your head.
“I am not happy about that at all.
“To think they are all killers or something and all they are doing is having a rave up.”
Heather Knight, Debra’s mother, moved to Clacton to escape the pain.
The family still visit Dynes Hall Road, near Castle Hedingham, where Debra died and lay flowers there every anniversary of her death, and every birthday.
Miss Knight, formerly of Castle Hedingham, said having her own children, Haylen, nine, Jayden, seven, and Lemony, eight months, made her worry about their futures.
“It worries me now that I don’t trust anyone at all and I am so distrustful of people’s motives.
“Mum is very, very distressed that these people go inside to be punished and most people would assume that a party isn’t a punishment.
“When you have got a naughty child, you don’t throw a party for them, it’s terrible.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman, speaking about the party, said: “The event last year wasn’t justified and Jack Straw has ordered that this won’t happen again at Holloway or any other prison.”
Debra was described as very quiet and very pleasant by Hedingham School staff, where she had been a student.
Last, of the Foyer, Braintree, was given a 20-year sentence which was reduced from 20 to 17 years in 2005 after appeal.
Miss Knight said it was “another sting” for the family.
Kerry Bauer was 21 when she was also convicted of murder, while Steven Wood, 23, was convicted of manslaughter and Nicole Hollinshead, 19, was convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Bauer, of The Foyer, Braintree was given 17 years; Wood of Parker Way, Halstead, eight years and Hollinshead of Ravens Avenue, Halstead, five years.