ASBO boy branded 'Imp of satan' when he was 10 years old is jailed for murder - aged 19


As a boy, Robert Heneghan was branded 'the imp of Satan' after he became the youngest person in Britain to receive an ASBO. Now, nine years later, he is starting a prison sentence for murder.

The shocking and depressing story of how a 10-year-old anti-social thug turned into a killer was revealed in court yesterday.

It heard that in 2004, the then 10-year-old Heneghan and his 11-year-old accomplice were given a court order for terrorising an area of Blackpool with ball bearing guns, knives and baseball bats.

And yesterday, he was found guilty of murdering his friend Sam Bee after a row at his sister's birthday party.

Heneghan is said to have been fighting with another guest when Mr Bee intervened and told the pair to calm down. Heneghan then turned on Mr Bee, apparently smirking before stabbing him in the chest as the pair stood in the kitchen of Sarah Bee's flat in Dean Street, Blackpool.

Heneghan was found guilty of the murder at Preston Crown Court and received a 19-year prison sentence.

One family member said: "Robert might have looked like a cherub but that was a long way from the truth - even when he was called an Imp of Satan some people thought it was funny. It wasn't.

"No one would have imagined that just nine years on he would be convicted of murder. He isn't an Imp he is the Devil himself.'

"Everyone in the system - school, family, social workers, probation, lawyers have tried to help him but they have all failed...Now he is to do a life term for killing someone he knew - a mate."

Mr Bee's sister Sarah said she bundled her brother out of the flat after the attack but didn't think the wound was life threatening.

She said: "I didn't think the stabbing had been very serious because Sam didn't make a noise to say he was hurt...He just said 'what have you done that for?' and he was still stood up."

But Mr Bee collapsed and died shortly after leaving the flat. Mr Bee's girlfriend Lauren Binks, 17, who confronted Heneghan after the attack told the jury: "I shouted 'I'm his girlfriend, are you going to stab me?' and he said 'I will'."

Another witness Sarah McKenna, added: "Someone said to him: 'why didn't you just use your fists' and he said 'I wanted to stab him.' He said it with no emotion, no nothing. Pure evil."

Heneghan racked up 23 convictions between his ASBO in 2004 and his conviction for murder at the age of 19.

Before receiving his ASBO aged 10, Heneghan was reportedly arrested around three times a week in the period between June and November 2003. His crimes included threatening two women at a hair salon with ball bearing guns, forcing a nine-year-old boy to run home naked after stripping him, burgling houses, threatening children with knives, throwing missile at people and cars, and setting off fire alarms.

Aged 16, Heneghan was sentenced to youth custody after stabbing a man in the chest. On that occasion the man survived. Heneghan's ASBO expired on his 17th birthday in 2011.

Jailing him, Justice Andrew Leggatt said: "Sam Bee had done you no harm - he hadn't threatened or attacked you; he did nothing to provoke you. He made light of the fact that you had got into a fight with your friend.

"You were angry with him for that because his pride had been hurt. Under the influence of drink, you have proved yourself to be a serious danger to the public."