Killer jailed for life after stabbing teenager Leonne Weeks to death

A man who stabbed a 16-year-old girl to death has been jailed for life.

Shea Heeley, 19, has been told he will serve a minimum of 24-and-a-half years for the ‘brutal’ murder of ‘beautiful, and loving’ Dinnington teenager Leonne Weeks.

Shea Peter Heeley

Heeley admitted murdering Leonne during a hearing last month, when he was warned he would be jailed for a ‘very long time indeed’.

Leonne was stabbed a total of 28 times to the head and upper body.

After he was arrested, Heeley boasted to mental health workers that he ‘liked killed’.

It was previously revealed in the hours after Leonne’s body was discovered, Heeley even posted comments on the teenager’s Facebook page, writing “RIP” on two separate occasions.

Darran Weeks, father of Leonne Weeks, and his wife arrive at Sheffield Crown court for the sentencing of Shea Heeley, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Leonne. Photo - Ross Parry

The pair had known of each other for 18 months prior to meeting again days before at a party. The two had arranged to get together less than 24 hours before the murder.

Heeley was today jailed for 24 years and six months after admitting the murder of beauty student Leonne at Dinnington, on January 15 last year.

Sentencing Heeley at Sheffield Crown court, judge Paul Watson QC described the murder as the ‘pre-planned and pitiless killing of an innocent young girl.’

After the sentencing it emerged that six months before the murder Heeley had dialled 999 from outside a pub while holding a machete.

Leonne Weeks. Photo - Ross Parry.

He warned the operator that he was going to kill the next person he met but was arrested by officers and later assessed by mental health experts as being dangerous.

The court heard today how Heeley had been assessed as having an “emerging personality disorder” by psychiatrists after the incident but was not seen as mentally ill.

Heeley was examined by child and adolescent mental health professionals and prescribed the anti-psychotic drug Risperidone.

However he stopped taking the drug and was due to be assessed again by Child and Adolescent Health Services (CAMHS) at the time of the murder.

Mandy Westrop, (left) Autie of Leonne, Paula Appley (centre) mother of Leonne Weeks, and twin brother of Leonne, Levi Weeks (right) outside Sheffield Crown court after the sentencing. Photo - Ross Parry.

The court was told how how Heeley confessed to mental health workers at Rampton Secure Hospital in September last year, saying, “I liked that I’ve done it, I just do - I like killing.

Prosecutor Tim Roberts QC told how Heeley admitted taking pleasure inflicting cruelty on animals and had been “experiencing the urge to kill someone” in the months before he killed his victim.

Heeley told a nurse while in police custody after his arrest on January 20 last year he “had always known he would kill someone from an early age.

Mr Roberts told the court today how Heeley told the nurse: “I will go to hospital or probably prison.

“If that’s what it takes to stop me killing people that’s where I need to go.”

Mr Roberts told how Heeley had researched “how to get away with murder” and “how to train myself to be a killer” in the months before the chilling, “pre-planned” murder.

Heeley been in contact with hair and beauty student Leonne by text during the days leading up to her murder.

The pair had known each other for about 18 months but then arranged to meet that night after having met up a few days before at a party.

Mr Roberts told how on the night of the murder Heeley met Leonne in a “dark and remote alleyway” and launched a “ferocious attack on her” - stabbing her 28 times to her head, arms and body.

A pathologist’s report showed that she sustained injuries to the hands and forearms typical of self-defence injuries.

Heeley then dragged Leonne’s body a short distance and hid it under an upturned sofa in the alleyway before leaving the scene.

The knife he used in the killing was never found.

The court was told how Heeley, who sat looking down during the hearing today wearing a black and grey tracksuit top, then began “concocting” stories to cover his tracks.

He contacted friends the same night of the killing claiming he had been attacked and asked for a fresh pair of tracksuit bottoms to replace the pair he had ripped during the attack.

He also went back to the scene the same night with several friends in an attempt to give himself an alibi if he should be picked up by CCTV cameras.

When Leonne’s body was discovered the following day in an alleyway by some students from a nearby college Heeley was overheard saying “I hope I don’t get blamed for nought up there.

“I had a piss-up there last night.”

The court was told how Heeley would confess to the killing to some while at other times while in custody with mental health professionals he would deny any knowledge or memory of it.

However, he did confess at Rampton Secure Hospital in September last year, saying he had “grabbed Leonne by the throat and stabbed her” and had “deliberately selected that location as it was secluded”.

Jailing him today for life with a minimum of 24-and-a-half years the judge Watcson QC told him: “This was a pre-planned and pitiless killing of an innocent young girl who had her whole life before her.

“As a result of what you did Leonne lost her life and her family have lost a daughter, grand-daughter and sister.

“They will have to live with that agonising loss and the living nightmare of your evil crime for the rest of their lives.”

Mr Roberts also read out a powerful impact statement from Leonne’s father, Darran Weeks, who looked on from the pubic gallery today.

It read: “My life has changed forever.

“This has devastated me as a father as I was not able to protect my daughter.

“As a dad I never expected to bury my daughter and this was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.”

More from News