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Yarmouth teenager's 'sadistic' murderers jailed

PUBLISHED: 22:17 26 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:27 06 July 2010

The murder of teenager Simon Everitt was a "horrific execution" which shocked a community with its "grosteque brutality".

And last night, his family spoke of how the killing continued to haunt them - after seeing his "sadistic" killers jailed for a total of at least 66 years.

The murder of teenager Simon Everitt was a "horrific execution" which shocked a community with its "grotesque brutality".

And last night, his family spoke of how the killing continued to haunt them - after seeing his "sadistic" killers jailed for a total of at least 66 years.

In an emotional statement read to Norwich Crown Court, the 17-year-old's father Vince Everitt said he felt "guilty for living when my son was so brutally murdered".

He added that both he and his wife had suffered mentally and physically while their two younger sons struggled to understand what had happened.

Simon Everitt, of Yarmouth, was tied to a tree, doused in petrol then burned alive, in June last year. The murder followed a dispute over a tangled set of relationships, involving the teenager and the two male defendants.

His body was recovered on June 29 - his father's birthday. Vince Everitt said he had bought his son a Christmas present in the forlorn hope that he was still alive. He was unable to attend court as his health has deteriorated rapidly and he had been put on "complete bed rest" by a doctor.

"Explaining what happened to our two young children was the hardest thing my wife and I have ever done," he said.

"Unfortunately, with children that age, they forget and we have to explain it all over again. It breaks our hearts every time."

Passing mandatory life sentences, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said Jonathan Clarke, 20, of Telford, would remain in prison for at least 27 years before being considered for parole. He said Jimi-Lee Stewart, 25, of Nelson Road Central, Yarmouth, would serve a minimum term of 22 years. Maria Chandler, 40, of Lancaster Road, Yarmouth, would stay in jail for at least 17 years.

The three defendants were convicted of murder in May after a trial in Norwich. All three had denied the offence.

Jurors were told Simon was targeted after going out with Fiona Statham who had been in a relationship with Clarke and Stewart.

The teenager, who had previously been "given a good kicking" by Clarke, was lured to his death and subjected to a "mock trial" before being set alight.

Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said Clarke was the instigator of the plot and was "sadistic".

Prosecutors had described Simon's murder as "grotesque brutality" and a "horrific execution". The teenager's stepmother, Susan, said the killers were "evil".

But he said the trio's attempts to commit a "perfect murder" had unravelled partly because Clarke could not stop boasting about what he had done.

Det Chief Insp Steve Strong, who led the inquiry, said: "This is the sort of thing you might associate with gangsters or a godfather community.

"It has to be one of the most serious cases I have dealt with in 30 years as a policeman."

But he said the police were satisfied with the sentences. "I think the judge identified the seriousness of the parts played by each individual correctly," added Mr Strong.

"We are pleased with the outcome. Twenty-seven years is a long time."

Vince Everitt said: "I am now seeing a trauma specialist. I suddenly go into a trance-like state and am not aware of what is going on around me.

"My wife Susan is on medication for depression. I very rarely sleep because I have such vivid nightmares."

He said he worried constantly about what might happen to his other children and added: "I do wonder how long we can keep it going."

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