Child killer Mary Bell becomes a grandmother at 51: But all I have left is grief, says victim's motherBy Michael Seamark and Paul Sims
Last updated at 10:56 AM on 9th January 2009
Child killer Mary Bell has become a grandmother, it emerged yesterday.
Bell became notorious at 11 after being convicted of strangling two small boys 'solely for the pleasure and excitement' of killing.
Now 51, the woman at the centre of one of the most sensational trials of the 20th century later won a court order giving her the right to anonymity for life.
The ruling is similar to those protecting the identities of Maxine Carr, girlfriend of Soham murderer Ian Huntley, and Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who killed two-year-old James Bulger in 1993.
In detention: Convicted child murderer Mary Bell aged 16The identity of Bell's 24-year-old daughter will also remain a secret until her dying day.
The order protecting her has been updated by the High Court in London to include Bell's grandchild, who was referred to as 'Z'.
Last night June Richardson, 64, whose four-year-old son Martin Brown was suffocated by Bell, said: 'A child is a blessing.
'She took my blessing and left me with grief for the rest of my life. I hope when she looks at this child she remembers the two she murdered.
'I will never see a grandchild from my son. I hope every time she looks at this baby she realises what my family are missing out on because of what she has done.'
Grief: Martin Brown was strangled by Bell when he was four. His mother, June Richardson says she has nothing left in her life but griefBell was convicted of manslaughter in December 1968 for suffocating Martin and Brian Howe, three, in Newcastle.
Martin, of Scotswood, Newcastle, was found dead in a derelict house, while Brian's body was discovered on waste ground two months later with the letter M carved into his stomach with scissors.
Bell's fellow accused, Norma Bell, 13, a neighbour who was not related to her, was acquitted.
During the trial Norma gave evidence describing how Mary had ignored her pleas to stop hurting Brian Howe as she strangled him.
The jury ruled Bell was suffering from diminished responsibility and therefore not guilty of murder.
She received life in detention but was released at 23 and given a fresh identity to protect her daughter when she was born four years later, on May 25, 1984 - 16 years to the day after Martin died.
She has had three assumed identities and has moved at least five times after being identified.
In 1998, she was paid a reported £50,000 for collaborating with author Gitta Sereny's book, Cries Unheard, which detailed her life. She was tracked down amid calls for her right to anonymity to end.
But in 2003 the double child killer and her 18-year-old daughter were granted the right to live anonymously for the rest of their lives after a High Court ruling that outraged her victims' families.
Mrs Richardson said: 'It's all about her and how she has to be protected. As victims we are not given the same rights as killers.'
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