News

Killer who murdered 10-year-old ballet dancer at party while her parents were downstairs wins move to open prison


A trainee electrician who murdered a little girl at a festive party whilst her parents were downstairs has been recommended for a move to an open prison, MailOnline can reveal.

Paul Smith, who was 17 at the time of the murder, suffocated Rosie May Storrie at a party in Leicestershire on the 28th December 2003.

The talented ballet dancer was found unconscious and half-naked on a bed at a house in Normanton. She died two days later in hospital.

Smith was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life with a minimum of 14-years in October 2004. This was his second parole appeal after becoming eligible in 2018.

The Parole Board announced yesterday that it had recommended that Smith, now 38, should be transferred to open conditions as part of a ‘staged progression’ that could eventually lead to him being released on licence.

Paul Smith, who was 17 at the time of the murder, suffocated Rosie May Storrie at a party in Leicestershire on the 28th December 2003. Pictured: Smith leaving Loughborough Magistrates

Paul Smith, who was 17 at the time of the murder, suffocated Rosie May Storrie at a party in Leicestershire on the 28th December 2003. Pictured: Smith leaving Loughborough Magistrates 

Talented ballet dancer Rosie  was found unconscious and half-naked on a bed at a house in Normanton. She died two days later in hospital.

Talented ballet dancer Rosie  was found unconscious and half-naked on a bed at a house in Normanton. She died two days later in hospital.

A summary of the decision seen by MailOnline states that Smith had previously been recommended for a move to an open prison in November 2019, but it had been turned down by the Secretary of State.

The document states that there had been some concerns about Smith’s behaviour in prison and that he had been transferred to a secure psychiatric hospital in February 2014

That was ‘where he had benefited from therapeutic interventions focused on anger management, decision making, and better ways of thinking.

‘Mr Smith had undertaken an accredited programme to address similar issues before his hospitalization.’

It added that Smith had also been cautioned for a common assault on a fellow prisoner in 2015

He was returned to a closed prison in September 2018 where ‘but had not accessed additional training programmes.’

It continued: ‘The panel heard how well Mr Smith had demonstrated application of relevant skills and learning while in custody.

‘The prison psychiatrist advised that there were no outstanding psychiatric treatment needs to be met in closed conditions but proposed that Mr Smith should undertake an accredited programme to address sex offending.’ 

Rosie May was last seen alive just after 9pm on December 28, being chased across the hallway by Smith after she pinched his can of beer

Rosie May was last seen alive just after 9pm on December 28, being chased across the hallway by Smith after she pinched his can of beer

The independently commissioned psychiatrist and psychologist witnesses recommended that Smith could safely be released, but his probation officer, the prison psychologist and the official supervising his case in prison supported a move to open conditions.

They believed this was necessary ‘for a staged progression with necessary support and monitoring. All witnesses stressed the need for any transition to be very carefully managed.’

The summary continued :’In this case, a protective factor which would reduce the risk of reoffending was considered to be the support Mr Smith could expect from family members in the community.’

The panel considered a release plan provided by Smith’s probation officer, including a requirement to reside in designated accommodation as well as very strict

limitations on his contacts, movements, and activities.

But they concluded that the proposals were not robust enough and that Smith should not be released on licence.

In conclusion, it stated: ‘After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the other evidence presented at the hearing in January, the panel was not satisfied that release at this point would be safe for the protection of the public.

‘However, on considering the criteria for recommending placement in open conditions, the panel recommended that Mr Smith should be progressed in this

way. There were no outstanding treatment needs to be met in closed conditions.

Rosie's parents Graham and Mary Storrie leaving Nottingham Crown Court following the end of the murder trial in 2004

Rosie’s parents Graham and Mary Storrie leaving Nottingham Crown Court following the end of the murder trial in 2004

‘It is now for the Secretary of State to decide whether he accepts the Parole Board’s recommendation.’

Secretary of State Alan Chalk has 28 days to reject the Parole Board’s recommendation that Smith be transferred from closed to open conditions.

Smith, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, pleaded not guilty to smothering Rosie May at the party as her parent’s chatted to guests downstairs.

But a jury of six men and six women at Nottingham Crown Court found him guilty of murdering the youngster, who had just won an audition for the English National Opera.

The court was told Smith, from Sedgebrook, Lincolnshire, attended the party at the five-bedroomed house in Normanton, Leicestershire, owned by his uncle and aunt, Ian and Sharon Smith.

Rosie May was last seen alive just after 9pm on December 28, being chased across the hallway by Smith after she pinched his can of beer.

Her father, Graham Storrie, 45, told the court how he desperately tried to rouse his daughter later that evening after finding her unconscious in a bedroom.

His wife, Mary, a trained nurse, carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the little girl but she never regained consciousness and died two days later in intensive care in hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed that she was suffocated after she was forced down into the bedclothes so she could not breathe, the jury was told.

The black catsuit she was wearing had been pulled down but he added there was no forensic analysis to say whether she was interfered with sexually in any way.

Mr Justice Astill told Smith, an apprentice electrician, at sentencing: ‘I am sure that you are, and have been for some time, a considerable danger to young girls.

‘I do not know if this disturbing part of your personality arises from the condition from which you undoubtedly suffer.

Rosie, pictured in her school uniform, had just won an audition for the English National Opera

Rosie, pictured in her school uniform, had just won an audition for the English National Opera

‘But you made a determined attack upon this young child long enough and forceful enough to overcome the considerable struggle which she put up to survive, to prevent you from suffocating her. I have no doubt that your reason was sexual.’

The court was then told about Smith’s history of violence against young girls, some of which the jury was unaware of.

He had previously carried out at least two similar attacks.

Smith threatened one teenage friend with an air rifle before tying her up, gagging her and bundling her into the boot of his father’s car.

His sudden flash of temper which led him to abduct the 16-year-old girl later turned to remorse as he stopped the vehicle and set his victim free, leaving her at the roadside before driving off.

The girl’s ordeal came less than six months after he attacked another child who was just 12 years old when he turned on her in his bedroom and pinned her face down on the bed.

After the verdict, Smith’s parents, Nigel and Susan Smith, claimed their ‘vulnerable’ son had been blamed for the killing because he was an ‘easy target’.

Outside court, Rosie May’s distraught parents Graham and Mary Storrie told of their nightmare.

Mr Storrie, 45, said: ‘We are just overwhelmed. We were on the edge of our seats, just praying for the right result, and thankfully we got that.’

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said:’The Parole Board refused the release of Paul Smith but recommended a move to an open conditions prison following an oral hearing in January 2024.

‘This was a recommendation only and the Secretary of State for Justice considers the advice before making the final decision on whether a prisoner suitable for open conditions.’



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button