‘We are the ones with a life sentence’ - mother of murdered Stevenage teenager

Amelia Arnold (right) with her sister Olivia just days before her death

Amelia Arnold (right) with her sister Olivia just days before her death - Credit: Archant

THE mother of murdered teenager Amelia Arnold said her family “are the ones with the life sentence”.

Jack Wall was given a life sentence for murder on Monday

Jack Wall was given a life sentence for murder on Monday - Credit: Archant

Amanda Joy, who gave evidence during the trial, spoke to the Comet yesterday (Tuesday) after Jack Wall was sentenced to life in prison for killing his former girlfriend.

Wall, 22, who admitted killing Miss Arnold but denied murder, will serve a minimum of 19 years in jail after he beat the 19-year-old to death at their home in Hadrian’s Walk, Stevenage, with a dumbbell bar.

“Now the trial is finally over, I feel the family can now begin to grieve properly,” said Mrs Joy, who lives in Stevenage with her husband Robert.

“I am relieved that the jury unanimously came to the right decision – a manslaughter sentence would have been an injustice.

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“At the sentencing I had a figure on my mind that I would have been satisfied with and anything above that would have been a bonus. The figure I had was 20 years, and he got 19. I have to accept that it is still a long time before he is illegible for parole, and rightly so.

“Whatever he got would never be enough – we are the ones with the life sentence. I will never understand fully the reasons why it came to losing my daughter over what is something so trivial. Is that what a life is worth?”

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Mrs Joy said she blamed the justice system for what she described as a “lenient” sentence for co-defendant Joseph Potter, although accepted the reasons why a reduction from the maximum jail term of 10 years was given.

She said: “It’s not long enough. What kind of deterrant is that when you only get a slap on the wrist?”

Mrs Joy also told the Comet more needs to be done to help victims of domestic abuse.

“Women are too scared and don’t know what to do, and that is a huge problem,” she said.

“Amelia got so down that she blamed herself. He (Wall) made her feel worthless and that she couldn’t do anything without him. That’s not the Amelia we knew, she was confident and strong-willed, but she was not the same person at the end.”

Mrs Joy was visited on Tuesday morning by a member of the domestic homicide review team assessing the case who explained that other measures such as using a panic button or a mobile phone which calls 999 and sends out a GPS signal of the location could have been used.

“There are things the agencies could’ve done,” said Mrs Joy.

“They could’ve told her about other options but the way it was put was either going into refuge or doing nothing. I’m not a professional but the people she did turn to were and maybe they could’ve suggested these things. Whether Amelia would have accepted this help we will never know.”

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