14 women who killed and how long they will spend behind bars

These are the faces of 14 women whose shocking crimes not only took lives but left the whole of Merseyside reeling.

Their crimes range from manslaughter to murder and they were all jailed for their wicked acts.

When killers come before our courts in Merseyside, it is more frequently men who find themselves in the dock for these most serious crimes.

But every year, women who kill continue to horrify ECHO readers with their sickening crimes.

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Whether they acted alone or worked with an accomplice, each of these women were locked up for their role in some truly shocking cases.

Each of these cases from recently has links to Merseyside, with some more notorious older cases included which still stick in people's minds because of their sheer depravity.

They include a daughter convicted of gross negligence manslaughter for allowing her own mum to waste away and a woman who killed her boyfriend by plunging a jagged piece of broken plate into his face.

Deborah Andrews

Evil William Vaill and Deborah Andrews were handed life sentences for killing Skelmersdale dad Eamonn Brady in a "brutal and sustained" attack before setting his body on fire.

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The cold-hearted killers, who brutally murdered their vulnerable friend using a hammer, knife, scissors and a screwdriver, will spend at least 28 years in jail.

The horrific attack saw Mr Brady hit in the head with a hammer at least 17 times and repeatedly stabbed and slashed in the neck and body in the early hours of July 21, 2018.

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Vaill, 37, and Andrews, 44, then wrapped his body in bedding and set it on fire before stealing a PlayStation 4, sound bar, DVD player and bank card belonging to Mr Brady.

After the callous killing, which Judge Mark Brown said had no clear motive, the pair went to Beacon Country Park, where they burned clothing and hid the weapons, then had sex.

Therese Curphey

Therese Curphey, of Lydford Road in West Derby, was jailed for four years

Therese Curphey neglected her dying 91-year-old mum even when she had broken ribs and shockingly deep pressure sores.

The 53-year-old, who has always denied responsibility for the death of her elderly mum Theresa Curphey senior, was unanimously convicted of gross negligence manslaughter last year.

The West Derby woman had finally called 999 in February 2017, telling the call handler her mum was "cold and clammy, had stopped talking and was making horrible noises".

That call brought paramedics to the Lydford Road home where they initially struggled to gain entry to the bedroom because there were so many objects piled high behind the door.

The sick pensioner was rushed to hospital, but her condition had become so grave that she died later that day.

Tracey Burrows

Tracey Burrows, 56, of Sherdley Park Drive, St Helens, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter

Tracey Burrows left a severely disabled woman to starve to death in "horrible" pain at her home.

The care worker, 56, didn't even get out of her car to see if Julie Cleworth had returned from hospital.

But the mum-of-three lied to Unite Healthcare by claiming to have checked inside the victim's bungalow.

That led to the firm assuming the 43-year-old was back in hospital and cancelling planned care visits.

After nearly four days without food or water, Ms Cleworth – "helpless as a baby" – was found dead in February 2017.

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Burrows, of Sherdley Park Drive, St Helens, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following a trial.

Ms Cleworth had suffered several strokes, was morbidly obese and unable to walk or even stand without help.

She was left in a rear bedroom at her Rainhill home by paramedics, meaning it appeared to be in darkness from the road.

Because she normally stayed on a sofa in a front room, Burrows assumed she wasn't there, but twice failed to check.

The convicted benefit cheat and thief was jailed for three years over the "truly exceptionally bad" breach of duty.

Lyndsey McCool

Lyndsey McCool, 37, of Whetstone Lane, Tranmere, admitted the murder of Jeremy Dickinson at his home in Seacombe.

Lyndsey McCool, high on crack cocaine and heroin, bludgeoned a vulnerable man to death with a dumbbell then stole his money.

The heroine addict had only been released from prison on licence six days before she killed Jeremy Dickinson, in his Seacombe home.

Mr Dickinson, 57, was found dead at his home in Albemarle Road on March 28, 2017, by his devastated mother.

Homeless McCool would often visit Mr Dickinson, who neighbours described as "very kind" and "vulnerable".

The court heard how he would often let people into his house to drink and people had taken his money in the past.

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On the day of Mr Dickinson's murder McCool was seen drinking at his house with another man.

Neighbours said they were woken by loud music and a 'loud bang' at around 4am meanwhile another neighbour, who provided CCTV to police.

On the CCTV a woman with blonde hair and a vivid red coat was seen leaving Mr Dickinson's house at 8.30am.

The woman was McCool, who went to her gran’s home, who described her as “frightened and panicked”, to change her clothes.

McCool told her: “No matter what, don’t let anybody in this house.”

She then went to a friend's house and confessed: “I think I’ve killed him, his brain was hanging out the back of his head.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard Mr Dickinson had been due to collect his mum Barbara’s dog to take it to the vet.

When he did not answer her calls she went to his house where she found him lying face down in a pool of blood, with a dumbbell on his back, at the bottom of the stairs.

McCool was arrested the following day and made no reply, but eventually admitted going to the victim’s house.

She told officers she left a YMCA just before curfew and used crack cocaine and heroin, “speed-balling”, for the two days before her arrest.

McCool said: “It’s all f***ed up like not real. Bits and pieces. I don’t know what order. He’s dead, is he?”

She was then shown a photograph of Mr Dickinson with the dumbbell and said: “I’ve done that haven’t I?”

McCool admitted murder, with prosecutors accepting the theft was “an opportunist event”.

She was jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years in prison.

Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis, 46, of Croxteth Avenue, Seaforth plead guilty to manslaughter after the death of her boyfriend Paul Lavelle, 50. Credit: Liverpool Echo Payment at your normal rate to Trinity Mirror Publishing Ltd PO Box 2003 39 Old Hall Street Liverpool L69 3FR

Sarah Lewis plunged a jagged piece of broken plate into the face of her boyfriend fatally injuring him.

Paul Lavelle, 50, bled to death from a serious injury to his nostril, and was found dead in his Wirral home.

As Mr Lavelle was dying at his flat in Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry, he phoned a business client and left a voicemail which said: “This place is a bloodbath, it’s a f***ing bloodbath.”

Lewis took several photos of her boyfriend’s face and then left to spend the night at her sister’s home, despite having not spoken to her for about 15 months.

When she returned the next day she found Mr Lavelle dead, sitting on the edge of the bath.

Paul Lavelle who was killed by his partner Sarah Lewis when she jabbed a shard of broken plate into his face Credit: Liverpool Echo

He had not taken any steps to get help, or contacted the emergency services but had repeatedly phoned Lewis, making eight calls, which all went through to her voicemail which she deleted.

All messages had been deleted by Lewis, so there were no audio clips for detectives to probe to establish if Mr Lavelle had been murdered.

Lewis and Mr Lavelle had been in a relationship for around a year after meeting on a dating website.

But relations were often stormy with plenty of disputes between the pair, many of which involved excessive amounts of alcohol.

Police had been called on numerous occasions and both Mr Lavelle and Lewis had experienced domestic violence earlier in their lives.

Lewis, of Croxteth Avenue, Seaforth, was arrested on suspicion of murder, after contacting police, but denied the charge and a trial began.

However it was halted after Lewis indicated she wished to plead guilty to manslaughter, an offer accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

She was jailed for manslaughter with a minimum of seven-and-a-half years.

Farieissia Martin

Farieissia Martin, convicted of the murder of Kyle Farrell

Farieissia Martin, 22, stabbed dad-of-two Kyle Farrell in the chest with a kitchen knife in her home.

The Dingle mum returned to her flat at 4.30am in a drunken state after drinking half a bottle of brandy at a friend's house.

Her late arrival sparked an argument with boyfriend Kyle Farrell, 21, who had been looking after their two children while she was out.

He accused her of seeing other men, demanding to see her phone – and as the furious row ensued Martin grabbed a kitchen knife and plunged it into his chest.

Mr Farrell died in hospital after being discovered by police and paramedics at the house, at around 5am on November 21, 2014.

During the trial the court heard how Martin was found “deeply distressed” by police after ringing 999 and said Mr Farrell had been stabbed by someone else.

Kyle Farrell died from a single stab wound to the chest

Martin initially claimed her boyfriend had been knifed to death by an intruder, but later changed her story to say she stabbed the amateur league footballer in self defence.

The court heard how there had apparently also been some "provocation" on the night and Martin had been subject to violence in the latter part of her relationship with Farrell.

The 'childhood sweethearts' relationship had also been plagued by affairs and Farrell fathered a child by another woman, while Martin was pregnant.

Martin denied murder but jurors took four hours to reach their unanimous guilty verdict.

In court Martin, of Charlecote Street, Dingle, sobbed in the dock as Judge Mr Justice Dove described the “cruel consequences” of her crime.

Judge Dove told the court he accepted that Martin “was not a wicked person” and was a “conscientious and loving mother.”

He said he believed Martin had not meant to kill, but had meant to cause serious bodily harm.

But he said: “Anyone who listened to the 999 call will remember vividly the agony of Mr Farrell’s last moments on earth. The children you said are the reason you lied to the police and attempted to hide the weapon are going to grow up without their father.”

He said although Martin had expressed remorse for what happened, she still did not accept responsibility for inflicting Mr Farrell’s fatal injuries.

She was jailed for life, in 2015, with a minimum of 13 years.

Sarah Williams and Katrina Walsh

Undated handout photo issued by Lancashire Police of Sarah Williams who has been found guilty along with Katrina Walsh of the murder of businesswoman Sadie Hartley

Killer landlady Sarah Williams was jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years for the brutal murder of her love rival.

'Jealous and obsessive' Williams shot Sadie Hartley with a stun gun before hacking her to death, with partner in crime Katrina Walsh.

Wirral landlady Williams, 35, began a relationship with Ian Johnston in 2012 – after first meeting at Manchester’s Chill Factore ski complex.

However when he broke off their relationship and found new love with Sadie Hartley, she began to plot her ex's new lover's murder.

And on January 14, 2016, 'bunny boiler' Williams and Walsh carried out their twisted plan.

Undated handout photo issued by Lancashire Police of Katrina Walsh who has been found guilty along with Sarah Williams of the murder of businesswoman Sadie Hartley

Ms Hartley was paralysed with a 500,000-volt stun gun before Williams stabbed her 40 times with "demonic savagery" a court heard.

She was found dead in a pool of blood in the hallway of her house the day after the attack.

Williams was arrested three days after the fatal attack, while she was in bed, at 3.10am, after police stormed her home.

Walsh was arrested the following day and both denied murder.

A scene from The Murder of Sadie Hartley showing the arrest of Sarah Williams

However after a seven-week trial at Preston Crown Court, in which the two women blamed each other for the attack, a jury found them both guilty.

Williams made no reaction as she was convicted of murder and jailed for life, with a minimum of 30 years behind bars.

Her accomplice, horse-riding instructor, Walsh, 56, who kept notes detailing the murder plot in her diary, was given life with a minimum 25-year term.

Naomi Ogden

Undated handout photo issued by Merseyside Police of Naomi Ogden, 27, who has been jailed for the manslaughter of father Zac Wells who died after an attack which was filmed on a mobile phone. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 30, 2017. Mr Wells, 30, died after he fractured his skull in the attack in New Brighton, Wirral, in the early hours of Boxing Day last year. See PA story COURTS Wells. Photo credit should read: Merseyside Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Ogden egged on her amateur boxer boyfriend to kill a Wirral dad – who was chased and beaten to death.

Zac Wells, from Liscard, suffered a devastating head injury after being chased and felled with a single blow outside Evo’s Loft nightclub, New Brighton, in the early hours of Boxing Day in 2016.

He was left dying on the pavement of Marine Promenade, after being chased for 70m and punched by Christopher Cousins, 29.

Ogden, who was in a relationship with Cousins, egged her boyfriend on to attack Mr Wells.

Mr Wells suffered head injuries in the fall and died in hospital nine days later.

The incident followed a dance floor dispute, which saw Ogden and Mr Wells arguing after she took exception to him dancing with her sister because he had a girlfriend.

Prosecutors described cocaine and booze-fuelled Ogden as “spoiling for a fight” and encouraging Cousins to give Mr Wells “a pasting”.

Footage from a body-camera, worn by a doorman at Evo’s, showed Cousins emerge and confront Mr Wells at around 3.24am.

Mr Wells could be heard asking: “Let me take my watch off first” as Cousins approached him “rolling his fists in a boxer’s pose”.

The camera then caught Ogden, who followed shortly behind her boyfriend, shouting: “Go on then, take your watch off you little f*****.”

Judge David Aubrey QC said Ogden had "instigated" what happened after keeping resentment following the dance floor dispute.

He also said she knew her boyfriend, who was a dedicated boxer, and also a White Collar boxer, "could pack a good punch".

Cousins admitted manslaughter over the incident but his partner Ogden, 27, was convicted by a jury on the basis she encouraged and assisted the attack.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was also convicted of manslaughter after filming the attack on Cousins’ mobile phone and sent to a Young Offenders’ Institution for three and a half years.

Both Cousins and Ogden were jailed for six and a half years each.

Maureen Smith and Kelly Smith

Kelly and Maureen Smith

The Smith sisters were among five people found guilty of killing David Corridon, in Norris Green.

Maureen Smith, 43, and her younger sister, Kelly, 40, were both jailed in January 2013 following the killing.

Maureen recruited three men to break into her estranged ex-partner's home to steal a £40,000 haul of money he kept hidden in his loft.

But the robbery went wrong and the dad-of-two was fatally stabbed six times with a knife and screwdriver.

Mr Corridon was savagely beaten and repeatedly stabbed, after three hooded and masked men raided his home in February 2012.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Corridon and Maureen split up after 14 years, in November 2011, after she accused him of womanising.

Maureen Smith, of Sir Howard Way, Toxteth, set the robbery plot in motion after becoming “obsessively jealous” of relationships she suspected Mr Corridon was having with other women.

Norris Green murder victim, David Corridon.

Cops probing the murder found a series of menacing texts sent by Maureen Smith to Mr Corridon just before the stabbing which said: “I’ll never forgive you for this. I will tell my baby you are dead.”

Further messages said: “It’s f**kin worth spending money to get you f**ked’. Drop dead. Watch yourself s**t bag, I ****ing mean it.”

Through her sister Kelly she was put in contact with career criminal Tyrone Griffiths, then 35, who hired Nicholas and Willis Nelson, two brothers with a history of committing armed robberies, to carry out the plot.

The two men and another accomplice burst into Mr Corridon’s house in New Hall Lane, Norris Green, at 4pm on February 27 and subjected him to a “frenzied attack” stabbing him six times.

They dragged him upstairs in a vain attempt to get him to tell them where £40,000 of cash was but he died shortly afterwards.

All five denied murder and conspiracy to rob but were found guilty after a three month trial.

Maureen Smith was given a minimum term of 23 years and Kelly, now 40, must serve at least 22 years.

The sisters tried to appeal against their convictions, at the High Court in London, claiming they had suffered a “substantial injustice.”

But three Appeal Court judges disagreed in March this year, ruling that there was nothing wrong with the sister’s “joint enterprise” murder convictions.

Brothers Nicholas, 30, and Willis Nelson, 31, who carried out the killing were found guilty of murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 28 years behind bars along with Tyrone Griffiths, 34, dubbed the ‘fixer’ for deploying the brothers to carry out the ‘hit’.

Myra Hindley

A portrait of Moors Murderer Myra Hindley

Moors Murderer Myra Hindley tortured and murdered five children with her partner Ian Brady.

Hindley died in prison in 2002, aged 60, after 36 years behind bars, having been characterised in the press as "the most evil woman in Britain".

Hindley made several appeals against her life sentence, claiming she was a reformed woman and no longer a danger to society, but was never released.

The couple tortured and murdered Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennet, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans in the 1960s.

Four of the victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines.

Hindley and Brady pleaded not guilty to the murders of Edward Evans, Lesley Ann Downey, and John Kilbride at a trial held in 1966.

The jury deliberated for two hours before finding Hindley guilty of the murders of Downey and Evans and finding Brady guilty of all three murders.

In 1987, Hindley released a full confession in which she admitted her involvement in all five murders.

The death penalty for murder was abolished while Brady and Hindley were on remand in 1966, meaning the judge could only pass the maximum sentence the law allowed of life imprisonment.

Margaret Higgins and Catherine Flannagan

Catherine Flannagan and Margaret Higgins were sentenced to hang in 1884 for a poisoning plot designed to bring in money

Sisters Margaret Higgins and Catherine Flannagan devised an evil poisoning plot to collect life insurance pay-outs on their departed relatives.

The pair were sentenced to hang at Kirkdale Prison and their devilish crimes earned them the moniker of "The Black Widows of Liverpool".

In 1880, the sisters, who were known to friends as Catty and Maggie, ran a rooming house in Skirving Street, close to Scotland Road.

As they entered the final months of 1880, the rooming house was occupied by the two sisters, Catherine's son John and two lodger families.

Brick carrier Thomas Higgins and his eight-year-old daughter Mary rented a room in the house, as did Patrick Jennings and his 16-year-old daughter Margaret.

Over the next three years, only Patrick Jennings would escape with his life.

In December 1880, Catty's son John died suddenly and unexpectedly. His grief-stricken mother collected an insurance payout of £71 and John was buried with minimum fuss or effort.

In today's terms, that payout would be worth in the region of £6,000.

In October 1882, Maggie married one of the lodgers Thomas Higgins – but their happiness was short-lived as within months of the wedding, Thomas' daughter Mary died following a short illness.

In January 1883, Margaret Jennings was dead. Scarcely cold in her coffin Catty put in the cash claim and the money came rolling in.

Life was short in 1880s Liverpool – but three deaths in one home were more than enough to start neighbours gossiping about what was going on at Skirving Street.

Thomas Higgins was the next to die and Maggie had five burial club policies in her husband's name.

An autopsy revealed evidence of arsenic poisoning, and the bodies of the other three victims were exhumed and examined. All had been poisoned.

Margaret Higgins and Catherine Flannagan were found guilty and hanged on March 3, 1884, in the middle of a snowstorm at Kirkdale Jail.

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