In December 2015 Arthur Simpson-Kent killed his partner, Sian Blake, and their two children – Zachary (aged 8) and Amon (aged 4). He thereafter he reported them as ‘missing’ and fled to Ghana where he was later arrested and extradited to the UK in February.
In April, Mr Simpson-Kent admitted killing them, but not plea was entered whilst his mental health was investigated. On 10th June 2016, Mr Simpson-Kent pleaded guilty to their murders.
He will be sentenced in a 3 day sentencing hearing, starting on 4th October.
What’s the facts?
At this stage, there are not many facts in the public domain, over and above the fact that Mr Simpson-Kent killed them and buried them in their garden. All three died from neck and head injuries.
What will he get?
He will get a life sentence. The question for Singh J at the sentencing hearing will the length of the tariff – the minimum period of time that Mr Simpson-Kent will have to spend in prison as punishment before he can ask the Parole Board to release him.
It would appear that the case falls into the 30 year tariff. Much will depend on the reason for the murders (to the extent that there are coherent reasons of course).The fact that there were 3 victims, and that they were members of his family will mean that the starting point will probably be higher than that – maybe 35 years.
Against that, there is a guilty plea and possibly other mitigation relating to his mental health and so forth. We would imagine it will be in the region of 28-32 years, probably at the lower end of that on the basis of what we have seen so far.
Why will the sentencing hearing take 3 days?
Again, the short answer is we don’t know. It would appear that this is because the Judge will be hearing evidence. It is probably because the Judge will be hearing evidence. This may be evidence from psychiatrists, or there may be an issue as to the factual basis of sentencing – i.e. some dispute as to what actually happened.
Either way, we will come and look at it when the sentence is passed.