Luke Harwood’s family: ‘Justice has not been done’
- Credit: central news
Murder victim Luke Harwood’s heartbroken sister today said justice had not been done because the woman whose rape claim sparked the terrible beating that killed him had not been arrested.
James Danby, 27, Emma Hall, 21, and Tony O’Toole, 30, were today sentenced to 25 years, 15 years, and 17 years in jail each respectively, for their parts in the violent killing.
On the night Luke died, Sunday May 27 last year, he moved to the room at the council bungalow at 72 Crow Lane, Romford, where Danby and the others lived.
The house had been divided into seven bedsit rooms with five on the ground floor and two more in the loft.
By chance an 18 year-old girl visiting that evening saw Luke and claimed he had raped her two years before.
Her complaint had been dropped at the time after she was interviewed by police, who found her accusation was untrue.
But when the girl repeated her claims, Hall vowed to kill Luke.
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Danby took a photograph on his mobile and showed it to the girl to confirm it was the man she claimed had raped her before he launched his ferocious two -our assault.
The woman was later commended by police in helping achieve the convictions.
But Luke’s sister, Emma Fordham, said outside court: “I cannot say that justice has been done and it never will be as the woman has been commended and not prosecuted for the false allegations she made which led to Luke’s death.
“She gets to start afresh and live her life, which is not justice.
“All this trial has done is put us through more pain and heartache, and take these animals off the street so no one has to suffer the same way Luke did.”
Investigating officer Det Ch Insp John Sandlin, had said after the convictions on Wednesday of last week: “The defendants acted in the belief that the victim had previously attacked one of their number. The woman involved was in no way to blame for the extreme and sustained attack that they then carried out and subsequently tried to cover up, she could not have predicted what would happen. She has been crucial as a witness and I would like to commend her bravery in helping us achieve these convictions today.”