In the Media

A promising footballer who fatally stabbed his girlfriend with two knives jailed

PUBLISHED September 7, 2012

Andrew Hall, 18, a scholar at Stoke City Academy, pleaded guilty to murder today at Luton Crown Court and was jailed by Judge Richard Foster for life with a minimum of ten years.

Megan-Leigh Peat, described by family as a caring, loving and bright girl, was stabbed repeatedly by her boyfriend in the head, neck and upper chest at around 1.30am on June 9 in the kitchen of a mutual friend's house where the pair were alone.

She died of severe blood loss and her injuries included defensive wounds to her hands and arms.

During sentencing Judge Foster told Hall: ''Megan Peat will never experience the thrill and success of exam results, going on to higher education, or perhaps being a bridesmaid at a best friend's wedding or an 18th birthday party.

''Her life ended in your hands at 15 years old.

''Only you know why you did what you did that night and what the catalyst was for such a ferocious attack.

''It is clear you were jealous of her innocent friendships with others.''

Iain Wicks, prosecuting, told the court that on the night Hall murdered the young teenager they had been drinking with friends at the Bumble Bee pub in Flitwick watching a Euro 2012 match.

The couple began arguing about Hall's jealousy, an issue which regularly caused problems throughout their nine month relationship, he said.

Megan, who attended Harlington Upper School, in Bedfordshire, left the pub to return home to her mother and step-father, telling friends she ''couldn't do it any more'' and was ''scared'' following the arguments.

But when the argument continued by text message, Megan was determined to rejoin Hall at the White Hart in Ampthill to reconcile their differences - despite his insistence that they leave any discussion until the following Monday.

The court heard how her mother, who believed her daughter to be in her bedroom at the time, had concerns over the relationship.

After spending some time with her boyfriend at the pub, the pair were last seen leaving hand in hand with the keys to their friend's empty house in Ailesbury Road in Ampthill.

Hall was next seen by bouncers around an hour later when he rushed to the White Hart, where his friends were still drinking, covered in blood confessing to bouncers: ''I think I just killed my girlfriend, oh my God, I love her so much, what have I done?''

He later added: ''I've ruined my life and my career, as well as her life.''

Megan was found in a pool of her own blood with 60 stab wounds to her head, neck and upper chest.

Next to her were two knives both used in the attack, a 19-and-a-half cm serrated bread knife and another described as ''vegetable knife''.

Hall, who suffered injuries to his hands which he told doctors had happened when one of the knives slipped, was estimated to be about two and a half times the drink-drive limit at the time of the stabbing.

Peter McCartney, mitigating, said the attack was a ''catastrophic loss of control''.

He added: ''Mr Hall is extremely remorseful. He appreciates the extreme distress and bereavement he has caused to her family.

''He is at a loss to know how he could have lost control to the extent that he did.''

Mr Wicks said Hall had been named Stoke Academy's player of the season and was on the brink of becoming a professional with the club.

In a statement read outside court on behalf of Megan's family, Detective Inspector Richard Wall, from the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Major Crime Unit, said: ''Today we are satisfied that Andrew Hall has pleaded guilty to this offence.

''The day Megan died will be forever etched in our memories, it was the day our lives were torn apart.

''Megan was a healthy, vibrant, loving and caring person who was very much loved by all her family and all her many friends. She had her whole life ahead of her.

''Before her untimely death we were an ordinary family leading an ordinary life. Since that fateful day our world has changed beyond recognition.

''The pain of losing our beautiful daughter and the tragic and awful way she died will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Megan was loved so much and will be missed forever.

''We would like to thank all police forces involved for their support, especially our family liaison team.''