Sasha killer fails in court appeal

Sasha Marsden
Sasha Marsden
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An evil killer who was jailed for at least 35 years after he brutally murdered a teenage girl before burning her body has failed in a Court of Appeal challenge to his minimum jail term.

David Minto, 23, of Kirby Road, Blackpool, killed 16-year-old Sasha Marsden after luring her to the hotel where he lived with his girlfriend on the pretext of offering her a cleaning job.

David Minto

David Minto

The social media-hound then attempted to burn the evidence, setting light to her body in an alleyway behind the Grafton House Hotel, in Kirby Road, in an attempt to avoid his crime being detected.

Minto, who spent much of his time on the internet, was convicted of murdering the teenager at Preston Crown Court and jailed for at least 35 years last July.

Yesterday, just after the 12-month anniversary of the killing, he appealed against the minimum term and watched via a video link from prison as three top judges rejected his appeal bid.

“The 35 years imposed in respect of this heinous act, given all the aggravating factors of sexual depravity and the desecration of this young woman’s body by the attempt to cremate it so meaninglessly, was not a day too long,” said Lady Justice Macur.

The court heard Minto got in touch with Sasha and arranged for her to go to the hotel when he knew his girlfriend would be out working a second job.

He paid her to do some cleaning and arranged that she come back a second time a few days later last January.

Sasha was dropped off nearby after college by her dad and was never again seen by a member of her family.

When she did not call to arrange a lift home, they went to the hotel, where Minto told them she had left hours earlier. Her body was found in the alleyway that night and was so injured that witnesses did not initially realise it was human.

Tests showed she had been stabbed 58 times in the face, neck and head.

Evidence suggested she had been subjected to a serious sexual assault at the time or just after her death.

A fire was lit in order to remove evidence of the attack. After his arrest, Minto concocted a pack of lies, claiming Sasha had thrown herself at him and he had then walked her from the hotel and not seen her again.

Today, his lawyers argued that the 35-year term he must serve before applying for release was significantly too long.

But Lady Justice Macur, who heard the appeal with Mrs Justice Thirlwall and Judge Paul Batty QC, rejected the argument.

“The degree of planning or premeditation in this case to lure this young woman to the hotel and with an obvious intent to commit a sexual assault upon her was indicative of someone who wasn’t acting opportunistically,” she said.

The minimum term was upheld.