BRITAIN: A teenager who beat his mother to death with a hammer and burned her body in a “chilling” murder inspired by a Coronation Street plot has been jailed for at least 16 years.
The killing carried out by Daniel Bartlam, who was 14 at the time, is likely to reignite the debate about the levl of violence on televison, with, the interest group Mediawatch UK warning yesterday that soap operas were “pushing the boundaries”.
Media watch director Vivienne Pattrson said: “I would not say that it [the soap scene] made him do it, but it adds to the mental jigsaw of what is acceptable.”
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom issued fresh guidelines in September about airing inappropriate material before the 9pm watershed, with parents expresing their greatest concerns about the storylines of soap operas.
Bartlam initially told police his mother, Jacqueline, had been killed by an intruder at their home in Redhill, Nottingham, on 25 April last year.
He then changed his story, claiming he had killed her after losing control following an argument. But after examining his computer, detectives recovered a deleted story in which a character called Daniel Bartlam killed his mother in the same circumstances.
Nottingham crown court heard the teenager had been inspired by a plot in Coronation Street in which one of the characters, John Stape, killed a woman with a hammer.
A forensic examination of his computer found footage of violent scenes from Trial and Retribution, EastEnders, Hollyoaks, and Coronation Street – the latter including the scene where the character John Stape kills a woman with a hammer.
Bartlam appeared to be inspired by a wide range of content and numerous violent video games and films were found on his computer.
They included The Amityville Horror and Final Destination, suitable only for viewers over 18.
The teenager’s activity on video file-sharing site YouTube showed that he watched clips from various soaps and the horror film Saw.
He posted numerous videos of YouTube highlighting violence, including scenes from the BBCC’s Eastenders and the horror film Saw.
Teenager Daniel Bartlam jailed for killing mother with hammer
Monday 2 April 2012 15
Boy Copies Coro St plot to beat mum to death
4 April 2012, The Dominion Post, B. 2.