Full report: Emma Hall’s sentence increased for part in murdering Harold Hill teen Luke Harwood

Emma Hall

Emma Hall - Credit: Archant

The woman jailed for life for her part in murdering Harold Hill teen Luke Harwood must serve a minimum of 17 years, the Court of Appeal ruled today – an extension of the 15 to which she was originally sentenced.

Duggan's sentence was not increased, despite the Attorney General's appeal

Duggan's sentence was not increased, despite the Attorney General's appeal - Credit: central news

Hall, 21, James Danby, 27, and Tony O’Toole, 30, were found guilty at the Old Bailey in April of Luke’s murder.

Luke Harwood

Luke Harwood - Credit: Archant

On May 27, 2012, Luke was wrongly accused of rape by a visitor to the council house he shared with his killers in Crow Lane, Romford.

Forensics work being carried out in the field in Woodford Green where Luke's body was found

Forensics work being carried out in the field in Woodford Green where Luke's body was found - Credit: Archant

Emma Hall vowed to “f***ing kill him” but it was Danby who set upon Luke, punching him so hard he thought he’d broken his knuckles in the process.

'Ringleader' James Danby

'Ringleader' James Danby - Credit: Archant

Hall then drove Danby, O’Toole and a still-conscious Luke to playing fields in Broadmead Road, Woodford Green, where Danby and O’Toole took the slightly built young dad to the bank of a stream and “finished him off”, with Danby stamping on his victim’s head until it exploded.

Tony O'Toole's sentence remained at life with a recommendation that he serve 17 years

Tony O'Toole's sentence remained at life with a recommendation that he serve 17 years - Credit: Archant


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Appeal judges Lord Justice Treacy, Mr Justice Macduff and Mr Justice Dingemans declined to reduce O’Toole’s minimum term from 17 years, or “ringleader” Danby’s from 25.

But England’s senior law officer, Attorney General Dominic Grieve, represented by Crispin Aylett QC, said Hall’s sentence was unduly lenient – as was that of Billy Duggan, 21, who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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Upholding the appeal, Lord Justice Treacy said Hall’s original sentence was “inadequate”.

“Emma Hall incited the [attack in Luke’s bedroom] and was party to the murder,” said Lord Justice Treacy.

“He must have suffered pain, fear and anguish before he died.

“It was undoubtedly Hall whose behaviour triggered these events.

“Luke Harwood wouldn’t have been transported to the place where he was killed but for her actions.

“She contacted police and gave an account of the night’s incident, but she was plainly motivated by self-interest in this respect.”

He added: “Emma Hall should have received a minimum term of at least the same length as that imposed on Tony O’Toole.

“Accordingly, we allow the application.”

Duggan had walked free after being handed a suspended two-year prison sentence in April.

He was not present during Luke’s killing, but had gone with Danby to help mutilate the body when the group was apprehended and arrested.

But the appeal judges found no reason to cage him despite the Attorney General’s request, and he remains a free man.

Dressed in a white shirt with her hair pulled back, Hall appeared through a video link to HMP Holloway.

She closed her eyes and lowered her head into her hands as she was told she would not leave prison until at least the age of 38.

Luke’s family, including his mother Caroline and girlfriend Hannah Page, were in court for the sentencing.

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