Petition to keep schoolgirl's killer behind bars

Lauren Pilkington-Smith
Lauren Pilkington-Smith
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The family of a murdered schoolgirl - left with dozens of injuries and dumped in undergrowth - are lobbying the Prime Minister to ensure he remains behind bars.

Kieron Smith was jailed for life for the murder of 10-year-old Lauren Pilkington-Smith, after battering her to death in July 2005 and leaving her in woodland off Sanderson Street in Leigh.

Kieron Smith

Kieron Smith

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But because he was aged just 17 when he was jailed for the brutal killing, a judge ruled he should only serve a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Now an online petition has been drafted, urging Theresa May to block any efforts by Smith to regain his freedom.

More than 3,000 signatures have already been added to the petition, which is understood to have been started by Lauren’s sister Rebecca, on the change.org website.

Her family is adamant that when Smith is eligible for parole, in July 2020, he should be shown no mercy.

Starting the petition, Rebecca Pilkington said: “As a family we continue to live our lives day by day and the thought of him being released makes us feel that we could not live our lives the same again.”

Lauren, a pupil at Leigh CE Primary, sustained so many injuries, in the fatal attack by Smith, that her family was forced to have a closed coffin at her eventual funeral.

Trial judge Mr Justice McKay said what he had done was “wicked beyond belief” - and warned the former Lowton High pupil that unless he confessed to the murder he may be required to serve longer than than minimum tariff.

Senior detectives involved in the case branded Smith a “cold, calculated and violent liar”, after he was sentenced.

Lauren’s disappearance sparked a huge search by townsfolk yet it was her grandfather, Ken Pilkington, who discovered her body, which Smith had tried to conceal by covering it with twigs and leaves.

Liverpool Crown Court was told Smith, who falsely claimed to have Asperger’s Syndrome, left high school aged 13 and spent his time watching TV and “playing out” with much younger children than himself.

Jurors heard Lauren went missing after a game of cricket, involving Smith, then of Pilling Street, Leigh.

Her raft of injuries were caused by a blunt object, which may have been a cricket bat.

The family says that Smith, who was no relation, showed no remorse during his trial.

An appeal against the length of his sentence was rejected by law lords in 2014.

Tributes have been left so often, off Atherleigh Way, that a small memorial garden was created, close to the bypass, which is known as ‘Lauren’s Corner’.

The family’s petition can be accessed online here.