Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Three jailed for life for Gemma Hayter murder

Three people have been jailed for life for the murder of Gemma Hayter, a woman with learning disabilities. The body of Gemma, 27, was found by a jogger at a disused railway line in Rugby on August 9, 2010. She had been beaten and tortured before she died. Daniel Newstead, 22, Chantelle Booth, 20, Joe Boyer, 18, all of Little Pennington Street, Rugby, were found guilty of murder and given life sentences.

Booth – who was described by Gemma as her best friend, according to reports – will serve at least 21 years in jail before she will be considered for parole. Newstead will serve a minimum of 20 years, while Boyer must serve 16 years. Jessica Lynas, 19, of Little Pennington Street, Rugby and Duncan Edwards, 19, of Rounds Gardens, Rugby were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 13 and 15 years in prison respectively. The judge in the case, Lady Justice Rafferty, admitted that she had been unable to watch all of the CCTV footage of the case because it was too upsetting. She described the crime as a “vile” murder.

Speaking after sentencing DCI James Essex from Warwickshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “Gemma Hayter was a vulnerable young woman who was brutally killed at the hands of five people who she considered to be her friends. “I am satisfied that those people have received suitable sentences and that justice has been done. “Officers and staff worked tirelessly throughout the investigation and trial to make sure that those responsible for Gemma’s death were brought to justice. They can be proud that their dedication and professionalism has resulted in these substantial sentences.”

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