Soap plot murder schoolboy detained

A schoolboy savagely beat his mother to death with a hammer before setting fire to the family home after being inspired by a plot from Coronation Street.

Daniel Bartlam, then 14, struck his mother Jacqueline Bartlam, 47, with a claw hammer seven times after watching the soap's character John Stape kill his victim in a similar manner.

Bartlam then poured petrol around the bedroom where she had been sleeping before setting it and her body alight. Her body was so badly burned she could only be identified from dental records.

The teenager originally lied to police, telling them a burglar had committed the murder on Easter Monday last year, April 25.

But at Nottingham Crown Court, Bartlam, now 15, was detained for life and told he must serve a minimum of 16 years for what the judge described as the "grotesque" and "senseless" murder.

Judge Mr Justice Julian Flaux told the teenager it seemed like he wanted to get away with the "perfect murder".

Bartlam, from Redhill, Nottinghamshire, had claimed it was manslaughter, because he had simply lost his self-control, but a jury unanimously found him guilty of murder in February this year.

After sentencing, DCI Kate Meynall, of Nottinghamshire Police, who led the investigation, called it a "shocking" and "chilling" case.

She said that Daniel had planned to carry out the killing and then attempted to conceal the evidence afterwards by telling police that his mother had been attacked by a burglar.

After his arrest, officers found a deleted story about a character called Daniel Bartlam who killed his mother in the exact manner Jacqueline was killed.