This shockingly brutal and callous murder took place in Stockport, near Manchester on New Year`s Eve 2001, by a young couple who thought they were Bonnie & Clyde. The killers were Deborah Taylor & Lee Whiteley, who had been together for just six weeks when they were arrested at the marriage capital of Great Britain, Gretna Green, just inside the Scottish border.
But what was the reason for this savage murder? It seems that there was not one, and it stemmed from the fact that both Taylor & Whiteley were pissheads who attacked and egged each other on, thinking they were like the outlaws from 30`s America or like the characters in the (in my view) overrated and overblown film "Natural Born Killers". Peter England had been a journalist, starting off as a young man with the long defunct "Daily Sketch" then with other Northern newspapers. But Peter England developed a serious drink problem and eventually he lived in a small flat, he went each day to the library to read, as he had always been an avid reader. He would do some shopping, buy some alcohol and stop off at a pub for a drink. As he liked to chat to people, it is though that it was here that he run into Taylor & Whiteley.
Taylor, only 17 at the time, had fallen out with her friends due to her drinking and bouts of explosive anger, and Whiteley had been imprisoned for assault, but they met at work; she served him food as he worked for a demolition company doing a job. The attraction was said to be instantaneous, and they were together everywhere, drinking. They decided to rob an off-licence (liquor store) but she ran off when the owner grappled with Whiteley, who had swung a meat cleaver at his head. Whiteley was arrested but astonishingly, despite what Whiteley had tried to do, the Police gave him bail. The results were deadly for Peter England. The couple were thrown out of a friends flat after they stabbed each other, and so they ended up later in Peter Englands` flat. They left to go to a hotel next door to celebrate the new year, where the only thing that looked out of place was the fact that they both wore their coats all the time they were there.
Days later, the landlord tried to rouse Mr England after not seeing him for a number of days, used a pass key, where he found Mr Englands` blood soaked body, and the flat filled with gas. He immediately phoned for the emergency services and the Police. A post mortem revealed Mr England had suffered 34 stab wounds, but it was thought that they had been inflicted over time, displaying totally sadistic behaviour. Mr England had apparently had clothes moved or taken off because some of the entry wounds in his clothes did not correspond with the body wounds. Neighbours thought that Mr England had been alive and well into the new year, hearing movement in his flat Taylor & Whiteley had gone back and spent days in his flat whilst his body lay there. They then decided to blow up the apartment complex, by turning on the gas taps on the cooker and leaving something burning, but it did not happen.
Now it emerged that they went to the party in blood soaked clothes and kept their coats on, enjoying the knowledge that they were hiding the evidence of a horrific crime. They crisscrossed Britain, using the rail network but Police, led by Chief Superintendent Jack Dees, kept up the intense hunt, and finding out about a trip to Gretna Green to get married, they were arrested by Scottish Police. The fantasy that these two "outlaws" going on the run and declaring their undying love for each other by getting wed, fell apart. During questioning, they blamed each other. The Jury and the Judge were not fooled. They were sent down for a minimum of 15 years, which is nowhere near long enough in my view, but they are out of the way for a long time. Peter England had done nothing to deserve his horrific death. Another example of somebody showing some kindness and scumbags responding with horrific violence.