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Sharon Louis CARR





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Juvenile (12) - The youngest female murderer to be sentenced in the United Kingdom
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: June 7, 1992
Date of arrest: January 1996
Date of birth: December 21, 1979
Victim profile: Katie Rackliff, 18
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife (32 times)
Location: Camberley, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment (minimum 14 years) on March 25, 1997. Minimum reduced to 12 years on December 10, 2003

Sharon Louis Carr (born 21 December 1979) was convicted of the murder of Katie Racliffe on 25 March 1997.

Sharon Carr is most notable for the fact that she was twelve years old when she committed the murder on 7 June 1992, making her the youngest female murderer to be sentenced in the United Kingdom. Katie Racliffe was 18 years old when she died after being stabbed approximately 30 times.

Police initially believed that a male was responsible for the crime, as the body was left almost naked with multiple stab wounds to the breasts, vagina and anus, leading to speculation that she had been raped.

The crime remained unsolved until Sharon Carr received a two-year prison sentence for stabbing a fellow schoolgirl at Collingwood College in Surrey. Whilst in prison, she admitted to the murder and Police obtained her diaries and noted that she had written about committing the murder and experiencing sexual pleasure from the killing. Of note is the fact that the stabbing at Collingwood College took place on 7 June 1994, exactly two years after Katie Racliffe's murder.

Sharon Carr was convicted of the murder after trial and sentenced to life imprisonment. At the trial, she denied that she had murdered Katie Racliffe and was convicted on the basis of her interviews with police and the contents of her diaries. Her tariff was set at 14 years in 1999 and reviewed on 17 October 2003 by the Lord Chief Justice, who ruled that it should remain at 14 years. However, subsequent representations were submitted and the Lord Chief Justice again reviewed the tariff on 10 December 2003 and recommended that her tariff be reduced to 12 years.

Although initially incarcerated within the prison system, Sharon Carr proved extremely difficult to manage and attacked other prisoners and staff on several occasions, leading to several transfers between prisons. She was eventually sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 and transferred to Broadmoor Hospital on 16 June 1998, where she was assessed as suffering from schizoaffective disorder. She remained at Broadmoor Hospital until Broadmoor changed from being a mixed-sex hospital to male-only, when she was moved to a different secure hospital in London.

Sharon Carr remains in the care of mental health professionals. Her tariff expired on 25 March 2009 and therefore she will be eligible to apply for parole if she is returned to prison after being discharged from her section. Whilst subject to section she is not eligible to apply for parole or be considered for release.


'Release this psycho and she will kill again'

THE mother of a girl brutally knifed to death by Britain’s youngest-ever female killer has begged for her not to be freed.

By Rick Lyons -

March 15, 2009

Sharon Carr was aged just 12 when she stabbed 18-year-old hairdresser Katie Rackliff 32 times.

Some of the knife thrusts went clean through Katie’s body and her breasts were mutilated.

Carr’s 14-year sentence was reduced to 12 years after a review by the Lord Chief Justice, meaning she is up for parole for the first time this month.

But Katie’s mum Helen claims she should be left to rot behind bars and fears she will murder again if she is released.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star Sunday, she said: “We were horrified when her sentence was reduced.

“We just couldn’t believe it. The whole family was flabbergasted – but life doesn’t mean life any more, unfortunately.

“The fact she is now eligible for parole brings it all back up to the surface and forces us to think about it again.

“I don’t feel she should ever be let out because she’s a psychopath. She’s far too dangerous. She didn’t show any remorse at the trial.

“The family are really concerned she could be out on the street and it could happen to someone else.”

Carr, now 29, had a history of sadistic violence before the murder and once used a spade to decapitate a dog. She killed Katie after she left a nightclub in Farnborough, Hants, on June 6, 1992.

Katie was picked up by Carr and two other youths in a car after she was involved in an argument.

But it wasn’t until three-and-a-half years later, while Carr was locked away in a young offenders’ institution for stabbing a 13-year-old girl in 1994, that she was finally caught.

Diaries seized by police were full of sickening boasts about the murder.

One spine-chilling entry read: “I wish I could kill you again. I promise I would make you suffer more. Your terrified screams turn me on.”

She also wrote: “I swear I was born to be a murderer. Killing for me is a mass turn-on and it just makes me so high I never want to come down.

“Every night I see the Devil in my dreams – sometimes even in my mirror – but I realise it was just me and my heart of terror.”

Carr, of Camberley, Surrey, nicknamed the Devil’s Daughter, was found guilty in March 1997 and sent to Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, Berks.

But Mrs Rackliff said: “It is just like I’m serving the sentence myself and my family is serving the sentence.

“Not a day goes by when you don’t think about it. It’s not natural for your children to die before you. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with.

“You just think, ‘Why her?’. Katie was very trusting. She often used to say to me that I worried too much.

“She was a normal jolly girl. I don’t think there will ever be a time when it’s behind me. I’ll carry it to the grave.”


Katie killer set to fight murder conviction

THE woman who stabbed 18-year-old Katie Rackliff to death when she was just 12 is planning to challenge her conviction for murder.

October 21, 2003

THE woman who stabbed 18-year-old Katie Rackliff to death when she was just 12 is planning to challenge her conviction for murder.

Sharon Carr became the UK’s youngest ever female murderer when she was convicted in 1997 murdering Katie, whose body was found in a Farnborough street on June 7, 1992.

The trainee hairdresser was knifed around 30 times by Carr as she got a lift to her home from Ragamuffins nightclub in Camberley.

She used a six-inch blade to kill the teenager and then mutilated her body in an appalling and sadistic attack.

Carr, a former Camberley schoolgirl, was only captured and convicted five years later after she boasted in a diary – while in custody for another stabbing – that “killing is my business and business is good”.

Police found that she had a history of cruelty to animals, and that she was probably suffering from a form of psychopathic disorder. Although her mental illness could not be pin-pointed, all agreed she was “very dangerous”.

But it emerged on Friday during a challenge against Carr’s 14-year tariff – the minimum number of years she must spend behind bars before being considered for parole – that her lawyers are planning an appeal against the conviction.

England and Wales’ top judge, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice, said Carr wants her murder conviction replaced with one of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He said: “Her lawyers also wish to highlight that Carr’s confession to the murder may now be in doubt and that the papers submitted to the trial judge — upon which he based his assessment of her psychiatric condition — were edited by the prison service.”

The court heard that the Broadmoor inmate had assaulted staff and other residents and admitted wanting to kill a fellow inmate by slitting her throat.

On occasions she has believes she is a lizard and tried to cut herself to find out whether she is still human.

Lord Woolf refused to cut the 23-year-old Carr’s tariff to the nine years recommended by her legal team. He concluded: “Nothing in the pages before me suggests the tariff of 14 years in this case should be revised despite Carr’s youth at the time of the offence.”

Lord Woolf was at pains to point out to her family that she will not necessarily be released after she has served the stipulated 14 years. He said that Carr will only win her freedom when it is deemed that she no longer poses a threat to society.

Miss Rackliff’s sister Joanne, her mother Helen and father Joseph were all in court. Lord Woolf said: “They have expressed the view that Carr should never be released because they consider that the murder was pre-meditated and they regard the defendant as a threat to society. It appears from their statements that they all continue to suffer stress and anxiety as a result of the murder.”

Outside court Mrs Rackliff said that it was the first time the family had been made aware that Carr was planning to appeal against her conviction.

She added: “We are pleased with the result. We would hate any family to go through what we have."


Devil's daughter to wed the mum killer

Murderers fall in love in Broadmoor

By Lucy Lawrence - Sunday Mirror

June 10, 2001

BRITAIN'S youngest female killer is to marry another murderer inside Broadmoor high-security mental hospital.

Sharon Carr, branded the Devil's Daughter, was 12 years old when she stabbed hairdresser Katie Rackliff 32 times.

Now she is to marry fellow inmate Robbie Layne, who killed his own mother by gouging out her eyes.

The couple met two years ago when they bumped into each other during a recreation period at the hospital.

Since then they have had regular, supervised hour-long meetings during which they are allowed to kiss and cuddle.

The pair will be married by Broadmoor chaplain Trevor Walt in the chapel of the Berkshire hospital later this month.

Carr, 21, and Layne, 24, will be escorted into the chapel, where they will stand side-by-side.

The ceremony, which will be attended by several other patients who have become close friends of the couple, will last just 20 minutes.

Relatives will be allowed to attend. But the couple will not be allowed to consummate the marriage.

Carr became Britain's youngest-ever female murderer when she was convicted in 1997 of butchering Katie, 18. She was stabbed with a six-inch blade and then mutilated by Carr in June 1992 after a night out at a disco.

She had been picked up by Carr and two other youths in a car outside the nightclub in Farnborough, Hampshire, after she was involved in an argument.

Police spent three-and-a-half years searching for a male sex-killer.

Then in January 1996 Carr - who was already locked up for stabbing a 13-year-old girl at school - told a warder she had murdered Katie.

In a diary entry after the murder Carr, of Camberley, Surrey, boasted: "Killing is my business and business is good." Last night Katie's father Joe was "distraught" at the news that his daughter's killer is to be allowed to wed.

Katie's murder nine years ago has torn his family apart, and he and wife Helen have since divorced.

He said: "At the time I said Carr should hang, and I stand by that.

"It's no kind of punishment. She took my little girl from me and now she's allowed to get married - to have a life.

"This is not justice, it's an absolute disgrace."

Carr and husband-to-be Layne will both be detained for life.

When Layne was 17 he stabbed and battered his mother in a fit of jealousy, believing she favoured his sister.

Then he gouged out her eyes with the handle of a carpet sweeper. He was sent to Broadmoor in 1996.

Sources at the hospital said the killers soon struck up a friendship. They met regularly in unsegregated areas but are housed in separate wings.

Carr is on Harrogate Ward, while Layne shares Woodstock Ward with other killers.

Layne is a talented sportsman. He plays football with other offenders who are all part of the hospital's team and is also an avid cricketer.

During one match at the hospital grounds Layne boasted that he was very excited because he was going to be marrying Carr.


I was born to be a killer. Every night I see the Devil in my dreams

Girl who stabbed hairdresser to death at the age of 12 is detained at Her Majesty's pleasure

By Kim Sengupta -

March 26, 1997

Sharon Carr, a girl obsessed with death and violence, secured her place in criminal history yesterday as Britain's youngest female murderer.

She had killed at the age of 12 - a savage attack in which a teenage hairdresser was mutilated with 29 stab wounds. The victim, Katie Rackliff, had been picked out at random as she walked home from a nightclub in June 1992.

The trial at Winchester Crown Court was told that in the years that followed, Carr seemed to be exultant over the killing, and yet haunted by it. She was endlessly writing about the murder and drawing pictures of a knife.

Samples of her notes were graphic. In one she said: " I am a killer. Killing is my business - and business is good." In another: " I was born to be a murderer. Killing for me is a mass turn-on and it just makes me so high I never want to come down. Every night I see the Devil in my dreams - sometimes even in my mirror, but I realise it was just me."

Four years after the murder, a diary entry stated: " I bring the knife into her chest. Her eyes are closing. She is pleading with me so I bring the knife to her again and again. I don't want to hurt her but I need to do violence to her ... I need to overcome her beauty, her serenity, her security. There I see her face when she died. I know she feels her life being slowly drawn from her and I hear her gasp. I guess she was trying to breathe.

"The air stops in the back of her throat. I know all her life her breathing has worked, but it does not now. And I am joyful".

Were these the fantasies of a deeply disturbed mind, as the defence claimed? Or, as the Crown held, the grim memories of an " evil and precocious" schoolgirl who gloried in what she had done? The jury had no doubt.

It was the writings, and subsequent verbal confessions that convicted Carr. There was no forensic evidence, but, as the prosecution pointed out, she had knowledge of the murder not available to the public. She graphically described one particular injury, details of which the police had deliberately withheld, and she also knew that a bracelet had been stolen from Katie Rackliff - knowledge that only the killer would have.

In June 1994, almost two years to the day after Katie's murder, Carr attacked a pupil called Ann-Marie Clifford with a knife, for no apparent reason, at Collingwood College Comprehensive in Camberley, Surrey.

While awaiting trial, she was sent to an assessment centre where she tried to strangle two members of staff. Two counts of actual bodily harm were taken into account when she was convicted of wounding Ann-Marie, and sentenced to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.

At Bulwood Hall young offenders' institution, staff alerted police after Carr began talking about the killing of Katie Rackliff on the telephone to her friends and family and wrote about it in her diaries. She also began to give details of what she had done to a prison officer, on whom she had developed a crush, as well as talking about it to a probation officer.

The Rackliff killing had remained unsolved despite four years of intensive investigation by police. Some of the knife blows that Katie suffered in the attack had gone straight through her body and out the other side. Her sexual organs were mutilated, and her clothes pulled up, although there was no evidence of sexual assault.

Detectives seized Carr's writings and drawings, and questioned her for 27 hours. She gave three different accounts of how Katie had been killed, but in all of them the central theme was she had repeatedly stabbed her.

In two of the versions, Carr said she was with two boys in a car at the time of the attack, and they had engaged in sexual activity with Katie before dumping the body. She named the two boys. Police interviewed them but they provided alibis for each other, and were eliminated from the inquiry. However, the prosecution could not satisfactorily explain how Katie, who weighed 8st 8lbs, was dragged across a pavement and around a corner by a 12-year-old girl.

Carr continued with her writing even after being interviewed by the police. In April l996, the month before she was charged, she wrote: " I am not like one of those pretty girls who breaks down due to a guilty conscience. Through six and a half years of causing people grief, I still have not found one." On 7 June, her diary read: " Respect to Katie Rackliff. Four years today."

Sadistic violence seemed to be part of her life. Police discovered that she had decapitated a neighbour's dog with a spade, and there was also a "suggestion" from a friend that she had fried live hamsters.

Detective Sergeant Paul Clements, who interviewed Carr extensively, recalled: "It was almost as if she was in another world. What sticks in my mind about talking to her was the coldness. Most people that you interview show some feeling as to why they have done what they have done. But with her there was a complete absence of emotion and reason."

Carr was born in Belize in 1981 and was brought up by her mother and stepfather - a soldier. After moving to England the family settled in Camberley, Surrey. Her parents split up and she was briefly fostered, but after a month she returned to the home of her mother. At school, her teachers initially described her as polite and helpful, but her behaviour deteriorated and she became disruptive and attention-seeking.

Criminal psychologist Gordon Tressler said: "This is a difficult case to understand. One can find precedents of young children killing other young children, but in this case it was a child killing someone who was almost an adult.

"This is an extremely dangerous person because she is clearly prepared to kill without an adequate motive. That makes her conduct very unpredictable and very dangerous. She is a great danger to the public."


Sharon Carr


Sharon Carr's diary


The victim

Katie Rackliff, 18.



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