Pictured; Angela Pearce
Leeds, UK. – Angela was an 18 years old from Skelton Terrace, Leeds, and clinically diagnosed as schizophrenic. The young woman had a good home life but was vulnerable if she did not take medication for her schizophrenia. She lived with her mother Irene Watson, 44, at Shelton Terrace in East End Park, Leeds. Angela came from a good home with very decent parents who cared deeply for her and did their best to look after her all her life. She also had a 16-year-old sister Nicola.
Angela was lured to a council flat in Cherry Court, Mabgate, Leeds, by her ”friends”, Meina Latif, 18, Claire Latif, 20, Mark Francom, 22, Christopher Bevis, 18, and a 17-year-old girl on April 9th, 1998 (Easter week.) They knew she was mentally ill and vulnerable and made her virtually insensible with cider before stripping her of her gold bracelets and other jewellery which were her favourite possessions. The young woman was then subjected to horrible cruelty. She was tied up, they then kicked, punched and ‘stamped’ her, had cigarettes stubbed out on her body and her hair set on fire and the remains hacked off. Her eyes were swollen to the size of tennis balls. The group made joked and laughed as Angela’s pleas fell on deaf ears. They hid Miss Pearce behind a sofa, putting music on to drown out her moaning when visitors arrived.
She was reduced to such a state that the gang realised she could never be allowed to leave the flat alive.
- Clockwise: the Latif sisters, Harker, Bevis and Francom.
Imprisoned in the Kitchen, the terrified Miss Pearce was then urinated on and forced to drink disinfected while she pleaded for water. The beatings were so ferocious that Miss Pearce’s eyes had swollen up “to the size of tennis balls”. On her last day of life, she was jumped on and kicked, beaten round the head with a snooker cue and put in a cupboard. She was finally choked with a plastic bag by Harker, the 17-year-old, who then strangled her with her bare hands. Her Ribcage had been shattered before she was strangled.
The female defendants knew that Angela was not normal and decided to take her back to their flat in order to get her drunk and abuse her. Each of the defendants took the view that Angela would not and could not be allowed to leave alive. In the early hours of April 15th, 1998, Christopher Bevis was told that Meina Latif had put a plastic bag over Miss Pearce’s head and that she was dead. Two of the gang went to bed while the others watched TV, leaving the body in the cupboard.
Mark Francom and Christopher Bevis went to a disused cemetery and dug a grave on Meina
Latif’s birthday. The girls watched the grave being dug, and when the job was completed Mr Francom rolled Miss Pearce up in a carpet to carry her to the cemetery. Mark Francom later told a taxi driver, who happened to know Angela Pearce’s boyfriend, that he had heard about a girl who had been reported missing as being buried in the cemetery. Francom was tracked down by the taxi driver and Angela’s boyfriend and they contacted the police. Shortly after, the five were arrested after returning from an abortive attempt to have a holiday in Wales, when they failed to find anywhere they could all agree to stay. The police located Angela’s body soon after and a post-mortem examination revealed she had died from extensive injuries.
Angela Pearce was buried in a disused cemetery
The 5 suspects showed no remorse in court, they pointed fingers are each other in attempts to save themself. As they were being taken away in court, people started yelling ‘murderers’ and Pearce’s family were calling them ‘scumbags’. After they were sentenced, Angela’s mother, Irene Simmons, said: “The verdict would never have been enough it should be a life for a life. I will live the rest of my lifetime knowing that they still have a life.”
The 5 murderers of Angela Pearce were described as typical ‘low lives,’ ‘the lowest rung of Leeds’ “two-speed” economy. Using benefit cheques and shoplifting, they sniffed glue, smoked cannabis and took harder drugs when a run of successful thieving brought in enough money. They would snitch on each other in a second too save their own self’s and had little integrity or morals.