Teen mutilated mum’s naked body and hid her in wheelie bin


A teen killer "on the prowl" for women murdered a teaching assistant before burying her body in a shallow grave.

The 17-year-old pounced on mum-of-two Lindsay Birbeck in woodland and crushed her neck before trying to hide her body behind a cemetery in Accrington, Lancashire.

The killer - who cannot be named for legal reasons - handed himself into police after "shocked" teachers recognised him in CCTV released by police.

After footage showed him taking Lindsay's body from the woods in a wheelie bin, he tried to claim he didn't kill her but was offered "a lot of money" by an unknown man to "get rid of the body".


Lindsay Birbeck was horrifically murdered. Picture: Supplied
Lindsay Birbeck was horrifically murdered. Picture: Supplied


But jurors saw through his lies and unanimously found him guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court today after just three hours.

Horrifically, the court heard the teen had tried to chop up Lindsay's body and severe force was used to inflict catastrophic neck injuries, possibly through stamping, kicking or kneeling.

A post-mortem determined she died as a result of compression of the neck after her body was found at Accrington Cemetery in August last year.

The verdicts come on the 12-month anniversary of Lindsay's death, who was a mother to Sarah, 17, and Steven, 20.

The unnamed killer youth, appearing on video link, did not react when the foreman read out the verdicts.

There was also no reaction from his parents at court.


Lindsay Birbeck’s body was moved in a bin. Picture: Lancashire Police
Lindsay Birbeck’s body was moved in a bin. Picture: Lancashire Police


The teenager had pleaded guilty to assisting in the disposal of her body but claimed he played no role in her death.

The defendant cannot yet be identified due to reporting restrictions in the case.

Preston Crown Court heard how the 47-year-old teaching assistant was brutally murdered by the teen, who two hours later was seen on CCTV calmly emerging bare-chested with his tracksuit unzipped.

He put a plan in motion to dispose of Lindsay's body by first hiding her in a blue wheelie bin and later dragging her across to the cemetery.

After finding a quiet and secluded area near the railway line, he spent over an hour burying her body before leaving a saw, gloves and the wheelie bin at the scene.

Over the next several days the teenager was captured on CCTV returning four times to visit her grave.

Despite a huge search, it wasn't until 12 days later that Lindsay's body was found by a horrified dog walker.


Lindsay Birbeck before her murder. Picture: Lancashire Police
Lindsay Birbeck before her murder. Picture: Lancashire Police



Prosecutor David McLachlan QC told the murder trial the teen had been "on the prowl" before the murder.

He targeted another female walker who "had a lucky escape" minutes before he brutally attacked Lindsay.

He was identified after "shocked" teachers identified him in CCTV released by police - with the teen handing himself into a station later that day.

The youth, with the support of an intermediary, was interviewed 11 times over three days and answered "no comment to all questions".

However in a prepared statement he admitted moving the bin and burying the body but said he was not involved in Lindsay's death.

Instead he claimed he was approached by a stranger who promised him "a lot of money" if he disposed of a body.

A search of his Accrington home had uncovered plastic sheets that were "indistinguishable" to the ones at Lindsay's grave.

Tracksuits and other clothing were also analysed and matched those worn by the youth from CCTV on August 12, 16 and 17.

Defence barrister Mark Fenhalls QC had told jurors the teenager did a "terrible and ghastly" act burying her naked body in the cemetery but was "not her killer".

But prosecutor Mr McLachlan said: "He acted all alone."

The teen will be sentenced on Friday.

This story was first published in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.


Originally published as Teen mutilated mum's naked body