Luke Frank Sibley
NZ Herald story here
Parole Board decision detailed here
This Listener article has a brief summary of this case
February 1997: Three-year-old Brittany Crothall was strangled and suffocated to death by Luke Sibley, 18. Sibley admitted killing the toddler while she slept to try to cover up the fact that he had sexually abused the child. He also attacked the mother and attempted to kill her.
From the Otago Daily Times 4th July 1997
An 18-year-old man, who admitted suffocating and strangling Christchurch youngster Brittany Crothall while she slept, began a minimum 13-year jail term for the girl's murder yesterday. Luke Frederick Sibley walked into the Christchurch central police station early on February 6, his face covered in blood, and admitted killing Brittany Crothall and the attempted murder of her mother, Jane Crothall, earlier that day. Yesterday, in the High Court at Christchurch, Sibley was sentenced to life imprisonment. He sat in the dock with his head lowered as the Crown argued for a minimum non-parole jail term, citing the callous and cold-blooded nature of the killing and Sibley's motivation for the murder.
Crown prosecutor Brent Stanaway said the "callous, cold-blooded killing of an innocent 3-year-old child" required strong public denunciation. He said there was every reason to infer that the homicide was motivated by an endeavour to cover up minor sexual offending by Sibley against the young child the night before the murder. The killing was motivated by anger and the mother was lucky not to have been killed after the ferocity of the attack on her. Sibley's unresolved paedophilic tendencies were a concern for the public, Mr Stanaway said. Justice Hansen agreed, saying a concern for the court was the fact that Sibley did not understand how he was capable of such offending.
After finding a note evicting him from Ms Crothall's address, Sibley became angry and decided to kill the mother and her child. About 3.50am on February 6 he suffocated Brittany and strangled her. He then went into Ms Crothall's bedroom armed with a hammer and a knife and attacked her, hitting her about the head with the hammer. A neighbour heard her screams and rushed to her aid. Sibley ran off. Ms Crothall's injuries included a fractured skull. Defence counsel Barrie Atkinson, QC, said the court could not be confident Sibley would receive the psychological treatment and help he needed during a long and potentially damaging period of incarceration. He urged a finite term of imprisonment.
Justice Hansen, in sentencing remarks, commented on the trauma indicated in victim impact reports suffered by Ms Crothall and her family, saying the type of emotional pain she suffered would be difficult to contemplate for those who had never experienced it. While the consequences of the physical injuries on Ms Crothall were not great, Justice Hansen said the emotional injuries added to the psychological burden imposed by the loss of her daughter.
Luke Frederick Sibley
Date of Birth
Given a 13 year
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Luke Sibley Parole Hearing Notes
Luke Frank Sibley Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
|Event Date||Event||Court Location||Offence Type||Offence Date||Committed While||Sentence Imposed|
|15-10-1997||Appeal hearing||Court of Appeal Wellington||Murder||06-02-1997||13 Years, Life Imprisonment||▼|