A MAN who "savagely murdered" a husband and wife while their son slept next door was jailed for life today.
Stanley Elliott, 53, knifed his friends Geoffrey and Michelle Hibbert after the couple “planned to throw him under the bus” for a £28,000 bingo hall burglary both men were charged with.
A jury heard Elliott had been left alone at their home in Basingstoke, Hants., as he babysat the couple's son next door.
Geoffrey, 61, was stabbed 58 times in the neck and torso while Michelle, 29, was knifed seven times.
Michelle then called emergency services and told them they had both been stabbed in their house.
The Honourable Justice Neil Garnham jailed Elliott for 34 years at Winchester Crown Court today, telling him: "This was a prolonged, angry and frenzied knife attack by you on two defenceless people that caused them both great pain and led, eventually, to their deaths.
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"This must have been the most dreadful and terrifying of deaths for Geoffrey and Michelle. They each knew that you were stabbing their spouse.
"You were a guest as [the son's] babysitter and you abused that status in the most egregious of ways."
Elliott was found guilty of the couple's murder at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, earlier this month.
During his four week trial the court heard the Hibberts had gone out for drinks and asked Elliott to babysit their young boy at their semi-detached bungalow in Basingstoke, Hants.
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But following an argument between Elliott and the couple when they returned in the early hours, he "turned" on them and stabbed them as the youngster slept in the next room.
Elliott, from the village of Sherborne St John near Basingstoke, Hants, had been "trusted" to "babysit" the couple's young son on June 19, 2021.
He fled the property on his motorbike before police arrived but was arrested at his home having disposed of clothing that would have "undoubtedly forensically linked him to the attacks", according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors suggested the incident could have been linked with a defence statement written by Mr Hibbert which blamed Elliott for a burglary they were both charged with in early 2020.
Elliott was on bail for the offence at the time of the Hibberts' attack.
In the statement found torn up in a bin at the property, Mr Hibbert claimed he had loaned Elliott a mobile phone found at the scene of a bingo hall burglary in January 2020.
More than £28,000 was stolen during the raid on Buzz Bingo in Basingstoke, Hants, and Mr Hibbert was charged after his phone was found.
It was suggested Elliott, who has two children of his own, may have flown into a rage and murdered the Hibberts after learning they planned to "throw him under the bus" regarding the case.
Mr Justice Garnham said: "It seems likely you argued with Geoff, probably about who should take the blame for the burglary of the bingo."
This was a prolonged, aggravated, frenzied knife attack by you on two defenceless people.
Elliott, of Kiln Road, Sherborne St John, near Basingstoke, Hants., was convicted of two counts of murder after the trial.
Today, High Court judge Mr Justice Garnham handed Elliott two life sentences for killing the couple, with a minimum term of 34 years behind bars.
He said: "It was the conclusion of the jury that during that 20 minutes you attacked and killed both Geoffrey and Michelle. That that was their conclusion was hardly surprising."
Mr Justice Garnham added that the jury was likely to remember Mrs Hibbert's 999 call for "the rest of their lives" and she had named Elliott as her killer.
Concluding the hearing, the judge said: "This must have been the most dreadful and terrifying of deaths for Geoffrey and Michelle. They each knew that you were stabbing their spouse.
"This was a prolonged, aggravated, frenzied knife attack by you on two defenceless people."
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