Thursday, February 10, 2011

Colwyn Bay - Sisters sentenced over knife murder

Two "Judas like" teenage sisters were sentenced today for the brutal knife murder of their father.
Retired antiques dealer Antoni Robinson, 61, from Old Colwyn, north Wales, was stabbed 15 times as his daughters and their boyfriends tried to get their hands on the contents of his safe.

Ashleigh Robinson, 19, and 16-year-old Holly "supported and encouraged" the frenzied late-night attack on Mr Robinson in July last year, Mold Crown Court heard.

The daughters were convicted of murder alongside boyfriends Gordon Harding, 20, and Sacha Roberts, 19, following a month-long trial.

The four had hatched a plot to sneak into Mr Robinson's bedroom to find out what cash and jewellery was contained in his safe.

Harding repeatedly knifed Mr Robinson, who was asleep in bed, using a knife handed to him by Roberts as the girls stood by, prosecutor Andrew Thomas, QC, told the jury.

All four were jailed by Mr Justice Griffith Williams today who labelled their crime "Judas-like and wicked".

Ashleigh Robinson and Harding, of Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn, were told they must serve at least 22 years.

Neither showed any emotion as they were taken down to the cells.

Holly Robinson, who lived with Roberts at Woodland Road West, Colwyn Bay, sobbed as she was ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure for at least 18 years.

Roberts nodded at the judge as he was ordered to serve 20 years.

The judge told them: "Antoni Robinson was murdered in his own bedroom, stabbed 15 times.

"You were after the jewellery in the safe.

"It is to be hoped that in his dying moments he was at least spared the awful realisation that it was his own two daughters who were party to his murder.

"Two daughters who were, in fact, scornful of him. Two daughters who had appealed for his kindness.

"Two daughters who, Judas like, wormed their way back into his affections."

Mr Robinson, who had two other daughters from a previous relationship, suffered wounds to his face, neck and upper body, including four stab wounds to his back.

The jugular veins on both sides of his neck were severed and he died within minutes of the attack, the prosecution said.

The sisters and their boyfriends then plotted with the girls' mother Joanne Barr to give a false account of what happened to police.

Barr, her daughters and Roberts pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Harding was found guilty of the same charge by the jury.

Barr was labelled "wicked" by the judge as he jailed her for four years.

He said: "You were not in the least concerned about the murder of a man who loved you."

Outside court Mr Robinson's elder daughter Claire Robinson, from Farnborough, Hampshire, described it as a "devious, greedy plot".

Standing alongside her sister Amanda, from Aldershot, she said: "As a family we have waited patiently to see these heartless individuals made accountable for their crime. Today is that day and justice has been done.

"My dad was a kind and loving father, brother, uncle and grandfather. We have all been deeply affected and saddened by his death.

"It has been proved today, without a shadow of a doubt, that my dad Toni did nothing to provoke this and he did not deserve to have his life taken away so cruelly.

"This can only be described as a devious, greedy plot made more horrific by the fact that it was perpetrated by relatives we thought we knew.

"It has been heartbreaking for us all."

The senior investigating officer, DCI John Hamsen of North Wales Police, said: "Toni Robinson was murdered in his own home. Those perpetrators were all teenagers and it is particularly tragic that this investigation affects generations of the same family.

"Toni Robinson was a popular and well-known member of the Old Colwyn community and I am sure he will be sadly missed."

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