A killer mum wrote a chilling letter to her ex, writing “I hope this pain lives with you until your dying breath,” before murdering her own son.
Lesley Speed, 44, is facing life in prison after she was found guilty of murdering her seven-year-old son because she feared losing him in a custody battle.
Lesley Speed, 44, has been convicted of murdering her seven-year-old son Archie SpriggsShe strangled Archie Spriggs with a scarf before smothering him with a cushion on the day she and her ex Matthew Spriggs were due at a family court.
Just a week before Archie was found dead, Speed wrote a chilling letter to Mr Spriggs, telling him: “I hope this pain lives with you until your dying breath.”
Archie was found dead on his bunk bed by Speed’s partner Darren Jones at their home in Church Stretton, Shrops., on September 21.
Mr Jones, who also found Speed on the bathroom floor with self-inflicted knife wounds to her neck, arms and wrists, said she told him: “I killed him. I smothered him. I can’t put him through this.”
Archie was was found dead by Speed’s partner, Darren Jones, at their home in Church Stretton, ShropshireLetters found at Speed’s home also said she would “rather that Archie be dead than see him leave with his father”.
A jury of 10 women and two men took five-and-a-half hours to find Speed guilty by unanimous verdict following a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Speed, who wore a grey cardigan and jogging bottoms, burst into tears when the verdict was read out and shouted: “No, no, you’ve got it wrong. My kids are my life, they are my world.
“Nothing would make me take their life, my kids are my world. You’re wrong, you’re wrong.
“Nothing would ever make me take him out of this world. It’s wrong. You’re wrong.”
The court heard the charity worker flipped when she became worried that Mr Spriggs would take Archie to live with him and his new wife in Slovakia.
Speed’s new partner Darren Jones, who found Archie’s lifeless body, said she was stressed and had sent a string of disturbing text messages before the murder.
One message said: “I don’t want to be in this f***** up world.”
Another text mentioned her son: “I really don’t want to be here. I wish we could just go to the coast and never come back or die so I don’t have to feel like this again. I feel like I am losing it and I have an overwhelming feeling I am going to lose Archie.”
Jurors heard that Archie was known to social services and had been the subject of an Early Health assessment in the months before his death.
Just one week before the murder, teachers at Rushbury Church of England School in Church Stretton, alerted social services after becoming alarmed at Speed’s state of mind.
The court heard how Speed had been diagnosed with depression in 1998 and 2014.
Speed always denied murdering Archie and claimed she found his body hanging from his bunk bed but forensics revealed he had probably been strangled and smothered.
Speed will be sentenced on Tuesday after she became too distressed to appear before the court following the guilty verdict.
Mr Justice Andrew Nicol said: “I think it probably is best if we leave things to tomorrow. That will give her a chance to compose herself and reflect if she is willing to come back.
Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said: “I understand entirely Mrs Speed’s position at the moment, she is in a state of high anxiety and distress.
“My learned friend has said she will not be able to come back into court today.”
Source: The Sun UK