A father-of-two has been jailed for life for the murder of a pregnant 14-year-old girl as she walked home from a Boxing Day party.
Philip Powell, (43), pleaded guilty to strangling Amy Williams with a lace from one of her trainers last December. Her near-naked body was found in a church graveyard the following morning by two passers-by.
Judge Mr Justice Wakerley told Powell, of Singleton, Sutton Hill, Telford, Shropshire, that he would have to serve at least 30 years before being considered for release.
The judge said: ?What you did was a terrible thing to terrify a girl going home that evening. Your mind was on one thing and that was sex.
?You took her to that churchyard on that cold December night and you terrified her. Then, fearing she would identify you, you killed her. You showed no mercy.?
Powell also pleaded guilty to gross indecency.
Stafford Crown Court heard that Powell attacked Amy in the grounds of St Michael?s Church in the Madeley area of Telford, where his children had been christened and he and his wife had had sex in previous years.
He forced Amy, who was six months pregnant, to strip naked, despite sub-zero temperatures, before strangling her. She was then left sitting on a memorial bench wearing only her socks.
In police statements read to the court, Powell said Amy had told him she was pregnant and begged with him not to hurt her.
He said: ?I did not plan what happened that night. We were walking the same way. I decided to approach her. It was a chance encounter.
?I grabbed at her clothing in order to attract her attention. She turned round and I said: ?Come with me?. I placed my arm around her. I killed her because I did not want anyone knowing what had happened.? Max Bennett, prosecuting, said Amy?s clothes and the lace used to kill her had never been found.
Dennis Desmond, defending, said: ?It was a chance encounter and she was frightened and complied with his wishes. He thought she was 17 or 18 and it may have been because she was pregnant. He did not know she was 14."
Speaking outside court, Amy?s sister, Kelly, aged 17, said: ?We are happy justice has been done.?
Flanked by other family members on the court steps, including elder sister Katie Neal, aged 19, Ms Williams added: ?But unfortunately for us, this will not bring our sister back.
?She was an outgoing girl and she was looking forward to being a mum. She would have been a terrific mum.?
Detective Superintendent Mick Brunger, who led the investigation for West Mercia Police, said he and his team were ?extremely satisfied? with the sentence.
The murder was an ?awful, cowardly crime? on an ?inno-cent and vulnerable young girl?, he said
?Powell fled the scene, leaving Amy for dead and was clearly hoping he would evade capture in the days that followed.?