20/03/2007

Cannabis addict guilty of murdering teenagers

A 20-year-old man addicted to cannabis has been jailed for 20 years after being found guilty of murdering two teenage friends.

Thomas Palmer was 18 when he stabbed Steven Bayliss, 16, and Nuttawut Moechao, 14, to death in a lane near Wokingham in September 2005.

Reading Crown Court heard how Palmer, from Blagrove Drive in Wokingham, repeatedly used cannabis and was obsessed with watching horror movies.

The jury was told that he had become obsessed with one film - about a serial killer who filmed himself stabbing his victims - before the killings.

Medical experts for the defence said that Palmer was in the developing stages of schizophrenia.

He had denied two counts of murder, but had admitted to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

(KMcA/SP)

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