They do say no good deed goes unpunished. Really tragic story.
- Anwar Rosser given whole-life tariff for murder of Riley Turner, four
- Former soldier stabbed child 30 times as he slept in his own bed
- Rosser allowed to stay at house after Riley’s mother ‘took pity on him’
By Chris Brooke and James Rush
Anwar Rosser has been told he will never be released from prison after he admitted the ‘savage’ and ‘sadistic’ murder of a ‘happy and bubbly’ four-year-old boy
The mother of a four-year-old boy savagely murdered by a friend who was allowed to sleep on her sofa has said she feels ‘so much guilt’ over letting the ‘monster’ stay with them.
Sharon Smith and her partner Guy Earwaker had thought psychopath Anwar Daniel Rosser was a harmless neighbour and allowed him to stay at their house when he asked after turning up after a night out.
In the early hours, the 33-year-old sneaked upstairs armed with four knives and stabbed Riley Turner to death.
He then crept into another bedroom where the boy’s mother and her partner were sleeping and curled up to sleep on the floor.
In a victim impact statement read in court Miss Smith said: ‘I wish I had told the monster no that night when he asked if he could sleep. He said people were outside his house and were going to beat him up and I believed him. I didn’t want him to get beaten up, but all along he had a knife in his pocket, plotting to hurt one of us, or all of us.
‘I feel so much guilt that my poor son had to go through such horrific things because my kind heart didn’t want to let that monster get beaten up. Now my kind heart cost me my son’s life.
‘I don’t feel like ever being nice to people at all except my family. The guilt eats me away every day. What he’s done is unforgivable, he’s ruined our lives.’
In the morning, following the attack, the mother-of-three, 26, was shocked to find Rosser curled up in a ball on the floor next to her, and ordered him to leave.
Moments later her partner, Guy Earwaker, noticed Riley’s light on and went to check his room – only to find it covered in blood and the boy semi-naked and dead on the bed with his throat cut.
Riley had been strangled, repeatedly stabbed and attacked in a sexual manner. Chillingly, Rosser had waited downstairs to hear the anguished screams. He escaped, but was arrested later by police.
Riley Turner was stabbed 30 times as he slept in his own bed after the boy’s mother and her boyfriend allowed Rosser to stay at their house
Yesterday Rosser, a former soldier with a history of being violent when drunk, admitted murder at Bradford Crown Court. Experts agreed he was not mad but was a psychopath who could commit more ‘acts of sadistic homicide’.
Mr Justice Coulson branded him an ‘exceptionally dangerous man’ who had shown ‘appalling savagery’. He jailed Rosser for life and there were emotional scenes in the public gallery as the judged ordered he remain behind bars ‘for the rest of his natural life’.
Victim impact statements read in court showed how the family’s life has been devastated. Miss Smith described Rosser as a ‘sick monster’ and said she had been frightened to go outside since the murder.
‘I get in a panic when a man walks past. I don’t trust men at all.’
Riley was described as an ‘extremely happy, active and popular little boy who was particularly close to his twin brother’
She said Riley was a ‘happy, bubbly, caring and loving’ child and she was enduring a ‘bad nightmare’ without him. ‘This monster has hurt us so much, we will never ever recover from this.’ Riley’s identical twin brother Mackenzie regularly asks why he can’t ‘go to the sky’ to play with his brother.
The court heard Rosser had gone to the family’s house after spending the evening in a local pub. He asked to stay overnight – telling the couple he feared people he owed money to were waiting for him to return home and would beat him up.
Miss Smith and other relatives left the court when prosecutor Paul Greaney, QC, detailed the horrific nature of the ‘sadistic’ murder, which had a ‘strong sexual component’.
The court heard that Miss Smith and Mr Earwaker, 23, had been friends with Rosser for a few months, and had shown ‘considerable kindness’ by helping the part-time chef to furnish his nearby flat. There had never been an argument between them.
Rosser had turned up at Riley’s family home in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on January 19 last year after spending the evening drinking. He was described as ‘intoxicated’ but in control, the court heard.
Riley, Mackenzie and 18-month-old brother Tyler were asleep in separate rooms upstairs when the couple went to bed, leaving Rosser to sleep on the sofa.
On the day before Riley’s death, Rosser – who lived opposite the family – had been drinking at a nearby pub, where he ‘drank a good deal’, the court heard
Riley’s mother woke up at around 4.30am to find Rosser curled in a ball next to her bed
Rosser was holding a brown-handled knife when he was find – a weapon he stole from a pub he had been drinking at
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley, Senior Investigating Officer, said: ‘This has been an incredibly horrifying and tragic case which has had a profound effect on all those involved in the investigation.
‘Riley was a very much loved son, grandson and brother who will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
‘Rosser abused the kindness and compassion shown to him by Riley’s family, when they allowed him to stay in the safety of their own home.
‘He has shown no remorse or compassion for the pain suffered by Riley’s family by offering an explanation for his savage and gratuitous actions.
‘The death of Riley in such circumstances provides a clear indication that Rosser presents a significant danger to all those who may come into contact with him, which is reflected in the (whole life) sentence imposed upon him today.
‘Today brings to an end what has been a very sad and disturbing case.’
At 4am, Miss Smith woke up ‘scared’ to see Rosser next to her. He apologised for upsetting her, asked for tobacco and left the room. Moments later Mr Earwaker walked into an unimaginable scene of horror in Riley’s bedroom.
‘He entered the room and then returned to his own bedroom in a panic,’ said Mr Greaney. He was ‘unable to speak’ out of trauma and the mother then saw for herself what had happened.
After being taken to a police station later that morning, Rosser said: ‘I know I’ve done summat, but I don’t know what.’
The court heard that Rosser had been adopted at five by a professional couple and given a loving upbringing. But despite a stable home life, he was in trouble from an early age, starting fires and bullying other children.
At 16, he carried out a similarly chilling and motiveless attack on an ‘innocent, sleeping victim’ when he smashed a trophy on to the head of another 16-year-old who was ‘crashed out in a bedroom’ during a house party.
Rosser joined the Army but was discharged without seeing active service because of aggressive drunken behaviour.
He became an alcoholic and was in regular trouble for ‘drink-induced anger’.
Rosser was even arrested on a hospital ward, where his mental health was being assessed, because he was threatening staff.
Outside court, Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley said Rosser ‘abused the kindness and compassion shown to him by Riley’s family’ and he has ‘offered no explanation for his savage and gratuitous actions’.