14-year-old girl attacked grandmother with electric guitar after plotting to murder her, steal car and drive to Scotland, then ‘start a revolution’, court said .
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, snuck up on her grandmother as she was cooking dinner and repeatedly hit her on the head with her guitar in their Shanklin home, on the Isle of Wight, February 19.
The teenager was reluctant to live with her grandmother and be homeschooled by her grandmother and became “very isolated” as she “lived in a virtual world” with no real friends or social interaction.
She “desperately wanted freedom” so devised an “entirely naive” plot to murder her grandmother so that she could travel 525 miles to meet her 13-year-old “boyfriend” in Scotland and “start a revolution in Europe” .
The girl even exposed her murder plans to her four friends online weeks before, asking for their help and even talked about hiring a hitman, Swindon Crown Court said.
The teenager was charged with attempted murder but admitted an alternate charge of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with attempted murder but admitted an alternate charge of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm in Swindon Crown Court.
She was sentenced to a 24-month juvenile rehab order in which she has a three-month curfew on a southern property and must complete a 90-day activity requirement.
Prosecutor Robert Welling told Crown court: “She felt that was the only way for her to have the freedom, the freedom she desperately wanted, because she was being stifled living with it. “
The grandmother, in her 50s, said “this is all a nightmare”.
Sitting on the platform, the teenager said “that’s a good thing, isn’t it?” after receiving a youth rehabilitation order.
The court heard that the teenager had been kicked out of three mainstream schools, her father was estranged and her mother could not take care of her due to her problems.
Mr Welling said: ‘This meant she was home schooled and very isolated from young people her age and this situation was exacerbated by the lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“She lived in a virtual world, she spent most of her time socializing on the Internet.”
In messages to four friends online, she said she “wanted to leave” and laid out her plans.
In a text, she said that she wanted to “kill her grandmother”, that she “was going to do it”, and said that she “wanted their help”.
Mr Welling said in a separate message that the young girl told a friend “once her grandmother is away, she would no longer need permission to visit her”.
Mr Welling said: “An early morning message explained what she would do – she would wait until she fell asleep and use a knife or her guitars to kill her.”
He continued: “She thought they could take her grandfather’s car, pick up a friend and go to Scotland and start a revolution in Europe.
The teenager hatched a plot to murder her grandmother so that she could drive from her home in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, to meet her 13-year-old ‘boyfriend’ in Scotland.
“It was a totally naive and ridiculous plan, which portrays the immaturity of this individual.”
Concerns were expressed that the girl was being treated online, but there was no evidence. Her friends thought she was “joking” about her plans.
She attacked her grandmother in the kitchen as the unsuspecting woman was preparing dinner.
She had been “annoyed” when her grandmother took her phone away and shut down the Internet.
Mr Welling said: “She hit her on the back of the head with the heavy end of a bass guitar.
‘It took [the grandmother] by surprise, she thought the ceiling had collapsed over her head, then she saw the girl swinging over her again.
“Despite the plea, the girl told her it had to be done so that she couldn’t call the police.
“It continued down the hall, the girl took an electric guitar and hit it on her upper body again.”
Mr Welling said the girl inflicted up to five blows during a “persistent assault” but stopped when she suddenly became “scared” and retreated to another room and the neighbors rushed after hearing screams.
Mr Welling said that although her injuries were painful, the grandmother suffered “from a little more than bleeding and bruising”.
In her victim impact statement, she said: “I feel in shock… This is all a nightmare and I want it to be over.”
She said the teenager had a “robotic look on her face” and a “lack of emotion” when she attacked her.
The grandmother also said the girl had been ‘devastated’ by mental health services and had been trying to get her help for years.
She added: “She’s a girl who thinks she’d be a mermaid or My Little Pony if she died… I think she’s a victim here.
“I want her to be safe and get the treatment she needs. I want her to know how serious what she did was.
Judge Peter Crabtree said: “This is quite an exceptional case.”
He was convinced that she had tried to cause “very serious harm on a serious level”.
Medical experts said the girl was showing signs of ADHD and autism, but suffered from neurodevelopmental issues that were hampered by a lack of social activity and an “assertive” grandmother.
Lawyer Jodie Mittell, representing the girl, said: “This is a very sad case of a young person in a desperate situation as she perceived it to be.
“The most important part is his well-being and the prevention of future recurrence.”
Justice Crabtree also raised concerns about girls’ internet use.
When asked if she could live without the Internet, she replied, “It would be hard to try to resist, my whole life was on the computer and seeing computers now makes me want to go, but I think I can do it. “