A teenager who told mental health staff he “liked killing” has been jailed for the brutal murder of 16-year-old Leonne Weeks.
Shea Heeley, 19, was sentenced to a minimum of 24 and a half years at Sheffield Crown Court today, for a killing he carried out for “no reason at all.”
Heeley stabbed Leonne 28 times on a secluded towpath in Dinnington, near Rotherham, in January 2017, before hiding her body behind a fly-tipped sofa in a nearby alley.
“I like that I’ve done it,” Heeley later told doctors. “I like killing, I really do.”
Heeley and Weeks were neighbours and had known each other for around 18 months before the murder, the court heard.
Both had been at a house party in Dinnington on Friday 13 January, and had arranged to meet again two days later, on Sunday evening.
After stopping to buy sweets and cola from a Best One convenience store, Heeley lured Weeks down the darkened towpath, where he launched his attack.
“Throughout the attack, the knife was wielded with substantial force, in a targeted fashion, upon a defenceless victim,” said Tim Roberts QC, prosecuting.
“He had deliberately selected that place to meet her as it was secluded and he intended to harm her.”
Heeley then hid the body and disposed of the murder weapon, which was never recovered.
The court heard that Heeley was “obsessed with murder and killing,” and would often brag to his friends that he was a “psychopath.”
When police confiscated Heeley’s mobile phone they found over 1,000 Google searches related to murder, weapons and serial killers.
A look at Heeley’s browsing history showed he had visited websites dedicated to famous psychopaths, and had searched for phrases such as “how to get away with murder” and “how to train myself to be a serial killer”.
Later, when police searched Heeley’s home, they found books and DVDs about Fred and Rosemary West, who tortured and murdered more than a dozen young girls between 1967 and 1987.
When Heeley’s mental condition was assessed at Hull Prison, where he was first taken after his arrest, he told mental health staff he enjoyed torturing animals, and felt a sense of relief when inflicting pain on them.
In 2016, Heeley was put on risperidone, an antipsychotic medication, but after his arrest he told doctors he had stopped taking the drug to move on to “better things like killing humans.”
Heeley said he fantasised about torturing and murdering women, and had known since he was a small child that one day he would kill.
“I’ll go to prison or hospital, but probably prison,” Heeley once told a mental health nurse. “If that’s what it takes to stop me killing people, that’s where I need to go.”
Judge Paul Watson QC, passing the life sentence, said: “It is clear that it was always your intention to kill her when the two of you met.
“She had done nothing to offend or upset you and she could in no way have anticipated the terrible and merciless attack to which you subjected her. Putting it shortly, you killed her for the sake of it.”
In a statement read out to court, Leonne’s mother, Paula Appley, said: “Leonne was a beautiful, amazing, lovely daughter.
“I never imagined that when Leonne went out that Sunday evening I would never see her again.
“It was a normal day, but there has been nothing normal about my life since.”