Man who stabbed ex girlfriend and her autistic son to death before going on the run is jailed for life
Daniel Boulton stabbed his former partner Bethany Vincent and her son nine-year-old Darren Henson
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A man who murdered his ex partner and her young autistic son before leading police on a 24-hour manhunt has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 40 years.
Daniel Boulton travelled 28 miles on foot from Skegness to Louth, Lincolnshire, in order to fatally stab his former girlfriend Bethany Vincent and her nine-year-old son Darren Henson at around 8pm on 31 May last year.
During the sentencing hearing the court heard a statement from Darren’s dad which said “no sentence” would be enough for what Boulton had done.
The 30-year-old, who was the subject of a restraining order after a complaint by Ms Vincent, developed a “hatred” for Darren.
He “loitered for hours” outside Ms Vincent’s property before the killings.
As the sentence was passed by Mr Justice Pepperall at Lincoln Crown Court, members of the public gallery could be heard saying “yes” when the judge said there was a possibility the defendant may never be released.
Prosecutor Katherine Goddard QC read out four victim impact statements to the court, including one from Darren’s father, Keiran Henson, who said: “Above all, the worst part is not being able to hear his voice any more.
“I will never be able to hear him shout ‘Daddy’.
“No sentence in the world will be enough for what he has done to my son and Beth.”
Boulton had said he wanted to ‘wipe out bloodline’
The killer had previously told a Salvation Army support worker that he wanted to “wipe out the bloodline” of Ms Vincent’s family.
He led Lincolnshire Police on a manhunt until the following day, when he stabbed an off-duty police officer in the leg in the Hubbard’s Hills area of Louth before being tasered and arrested on a nearby farm.
Dramatic helicopter footage shows the moment police caught up with Boulton.
Boulton, of Alexandra Road, Skegness, admitted manslaughter on the second day of his trial, as well as assault with intent to resist arrest, and burglary, before being convicted of two counts of murder on Tuesday.
Sentencing the killer on Wednesday, the judge told him: “I’m sure that you targeted DJ (Darren) because of your hatred and you were motivated by his autism.
“I’m sure that you are a violent and very dangerous man, and you present an ongoing risk of further violence, and possibly even homicide.
“You killed with ruthless efficiency very soon after breaking into the house.
“You acted calmly, callously and efficiently … you intended to kill, you knew precisely what you were doing.”
Killer tried to say he was on ‘autopilot’ at the time
Boulton tried to claim he was on “autopilot” at the time of the murders, but jurors and the judge dismissed his defence of loss of control.
The judge continued: “You said many times to a number of different people that you wanted him dead and out of the way.
The judge told him: “There is ample evidence that you are manipulative and controlling. Your violence to Bethany Vincent was, I am satisfied, born out of a desire to control her life and her thinking, and a deep sense of frustration when you did not get your own way.
“Whatever your precise intention when you started your hike to Louth and when you first arrived at Ms Vincent’s home, I am entirely satisfied that, having been denied entry at lunchtime, you deliberately loitered in Louth for some hours, calmly awaiting her return with (Darren) in order that you could kill them both.
“I am sure upon the evidence that this was calm, controlled, deliberate and purposeful violence.”
What have the police said?
Detective Inspector Andy McWatt, from East Midlands Special Operation Unit, who led the investigation, said: “This was a very tragic and sad incident which not only shattered the world of Bethany and Darren’s family, but deeply affected the community and those entrusted to investigate and prosecute this horrendous offence.
“My deepest condolences go to the family who have shown such bravery throughout this investigation.
“I would also like to thank the local community and witnesses for their support during this trial, and recognise the work of our officers and teams, and the Crown Prosecution Service, who secured this conviction.
“I know the family will never get over losing their loved ones, but I hope this conviction gives them some closure.”
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