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British Serial Killer Sentenced to Life Term for Grisly Slayings : Crime: Rosemary West is convicted of killing 10, including her daughter and stepdaughter. She insists she’s innocent.

<i> From Associated Press</i>

One of Britain’s worst serial murderers went to prison for life Wednesday, protesting she was innocent of torturing and killing 10 women and girls, including a daughter and a stepdaughter.

Rosemary West, 41, was impassive as a jury convicted her of seven counts of homicide Wednesday. She was found guilty Tuesday of three others. Her lawyer, Leo Goatley, said the admitted prostitute was “totally devastated and wept uncontrollably” at the sentence.

“She continues to maintain her innocence . . . and we are actively pursuing an appeal on her behalf,” Goatley told reporters.

Throughout the seven-week trial West blamed all the killings on her husband, Frederick West. He had been charged in the case but killed himself before being tried.

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He was found hanged in his prison cell on New Year’s Day.

The prosecution said the Wests lured the young women, many of them vulnerable runaways, with offers of rides, lodging or jobs as nannies. They were stripped, bound with adhesive tape and sexually tortured, then killed, dismembered and buried. Many were gagged to prevent them crying out.

All but one of the victims were found buried at the West home in Gloucester in western England.

Police are looking for nine other women known to have frequented the home, although they said Wednesday that there was no evidence to suggest they had been murdered.

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Rosemary West was sentenced to life in prison for each of the murders, and the judge said he would recommend that she never be paroled.

“If attention is paid to what I think, you will never be released,” Judge Charles Mantell said to cheers from the public gallery, which was crowded with relatives of the 10 victims.

Britain abolished the death penalty for most crimes in 1965.

On Tuesday, the jury convicted West of killing her daughter Heather, 16, her stepdaughter Charmaine, 8, and a pregnant lodger, Shirley Ann Robinson, 18.

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On Wednesday she was convicted of murdering Lynda Gough, Carole Ann Cooper, Lucy Partington, Shirley Hubbard, Juanita Mott and Alison Chambers--all British--and Swiss student Therese Siegenthaler.


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