A teenager who murdered Lindsay Birbeck before burying her in a cemetery has been jailed for life.

Rocky Marciano Price, 17, was sentenced to a minimum term of 16 detention today (August 14) by Judge Mrs Justice Yip and will only be released when a parole board 'decides he is not a danger'.

T-shirts worn by Price's family and displayed at the sentencing hearing said: "Wrongly convicted! Free this boy. Murderer still at large."

Price brutally attacked the mum-of-two in woods close to her home before later moving her body in a blue wheelie bin to Accrington Cemetery where he buried her naked in a shallow grave.

The high level teaching assistant was discovered wrapped in two plastic bags on August 24 last year – 12 days after she went missing, which prompted a huge search by police and members of the community.

On Wednesday, Price, of Whinney Hall Road, Accrington, was unanimously found guilty at Preston Crown Court of her murder, exactly a year on from when she disappeared.

Sentencing today, Mrs Yip said: “I have no doubt the murder was significantly premeditated.

"He lay in wait on the Coppice near to Lindsay’s home. The only conclusion I can draw is he was looking for a woman to kill.

"I don’t know what was on his mind at the time. The attack was swift and brutal.

"The murder of a stranger in broad daylight with no rational explanation is horrifying to all members of society.

"The random nature of the killing shows the defendant presents a very real risk to members of the public

"There will no doubt there will be a significant amount of work and full risk assessments before defendant’s potential release.

The judge said Price's mental disorder "cannot in any way excuse or explain his actions".

She added: "I have no doubt he knew what he was doing and knew it was terribly wrong.

"The stalking of the other woman also demonstrates this did not arise out of a sudden loss of control or heat of the moment. He persisted with his plan to target a lone woman.

"It shows he had the capacity to plan and reason.

"The teachers said he was far better at practical tasks and he used that to set about concealing body.

"It is an odd feature of the case the defendant chose to move the body from the Coppice.

"I cannot speculate as to his reasons for doing that. Her body was not found for 12 days.

"I can only imagine the agony of Lindsay’s family and friends during that time."

'All our lives are completely ruined'

Lindsay and her daughter Sarah

David McLachlan QC said there could only be one sentence for a conviction of murder and that was life imprisonment.

The prosecutor said there was a 'significant element of planning or premeditation' from Price who then hid and attempted to dismember Lindsay’s body.

A powerful and heartbreaking victim personal statement from Lindsay's daughter Sarah Birbeck was then read out at the sentencing hearing.

Sarah, 17, said Price murdered her mum 'for absolutely no reason' and their lives are 'completely ruined'.

Victim personal statement in full:

On August 12, 2019, it was just like any normal day.

I met my mum and went shopping for some new school uniform and arranged with her to have tea later the same day.

Little did I know that day, when I said goodbye to her, it would be the last time I saw her alive.

When I went round for tea and she wasn't there. I sat waiting for her for over an hour with my boyfriend.

I couldn't understand where she could be. After an hour I left and went back home.

I tried numerous times to contact her not knowing that she was already dead.

As a family we have never had any contact with the police before but from the moment she was reported missing I felt like the police were constantly asking us questions and explaining what they were doing to find my mum.

This felt very weird, like it happens to other families not ours.

The next 12 days were absolutely awful not knowing where my mum was or what happened.

Initially I think all the family thought she might have had an accident out walking but once mountain rescue had done their search I think deep down I knew it was going to be something bad.

My mum would not leave us out of choice, I knew that.

When the police told us they had found a body we all knew it was her. The last bit of hope we had that she might still be alive was gone.

Over the past 12 months it had felt like it has not been real.

We are a small, very close family and we are all suffering.

My brother Steven and I have lost our mum. This wasn't supposed to happen like this.

We are going to grow up without her by our side.

We will both have to get married without her there, have children and live the rest of our lives without her love and guidance.

Lindsay and her son Steven

Steven recently won an award for apprentice of the year. He went to pick up the phone to let my mum know before the lawful realisation that she is no longer her.

She is gone forever.

Her brother Darryl, my uncle, is really struggling. They grew up very close and remained that way.

When he married his wife Tracy mum mum sorted out a lot of the arrangements and my uncle said this was one of the best days of his life mainly thanks to her.

My granddad has lost a daughter, he feels that you should not outlive your own child.

My dad Tim was married to my mum although they had separated and I know he is finding it very difficult.

He is now a single parent and having to make lots of decisions without my mum for guidance.

I know he feels very sad for Steven and I that we have lost our mum and there is nothing he can do to take our pain away.

My mum was a higher level teaching assistant and the irony is she would have taught boys like the defendant and would have tried her best to help him.

To known now that he murdered her for absolutely no reason is heartbreaking and has not sunk in yet. Not within me or other members of my family.

The fact that he has made us come to court and listen to every graphic detail of my mums murder when he could have saved us this pain by pleading guilty is unforgivable.

All our lives are completely ruined and I don't see how we will ever recovery as a family as the void that has been left will never be filled.

Jurors in the trial heard Lindsay left her home in Burnley Road, Huncoat, for a late afternoon walk to a nearby wooded area known as the Coppice.

She had invited her daughter, Sarah, 17, and Sarah’s boyfriend Brandon for tea at 6pm, but when she did not return as planned her family raised the alarm.

Price, who was 16 at the time, had been "on the prowl" in the woods for "lone females" and is thought to have killed Lindsay shortly after she entered the Coppice. She was last seen alive at 4.06pm.

His parents took him to a police station several days after she was found, when police released a CCTV clip of a young male pulling a blue wheelie bin behind him on Burnley Road.

Price, who has autism and learning difficulties, admitted dragging the bin from the Coppice on August 17, with Lindsay inside, across Burnley Road to the cemetery.

But he claimed he was not involved in her death and that a "stranger" had approached him in the area and promised him "a lot of money" if he disposed of the body.

Rocky Price covering the wheelie bin

Lindsay was identified through dental records and a post-mortem examination concluded the cause of death was neck injuries.

Her naked body was heavily decomposed and no evidence of a sexual assault could be found.

Severe compressive force appeared to have been used, according to a Home Office pathologist, which could have been done in several ways including through stamping or kicking, or kneeling on the front of the neck.

An attempt had also been made to cut off a leg, possibly with a saw.

'Nothing can plug the whole Lindsay’s family now feel'

Defence barrister Mark Fenhalls QC said Price has significant learning and communication difficulties and other vulnerabilities and had never given his teachers a 'shred of concern about a tenancy towards violence or harming anybody else'.

He said: "It’s one of the truly unusual features of this case that Mr Price concealed her body in the graveyard rather than up in the Coppice somewhere.

"I don’t say it to mitigate but it’s perhaps not as serious when concealment is all about a far greater set of circumstances.

"He has an IQ of only 65 and has the learning and communication difficulties that he does.

"Prior to this incident you heard evidence from the teachers that he had never given a shred of concern about a tenancy towards violence or harming anybody else.

"All of that is reflective of a very different child from the one facing sentence for the conviction he received.

"He will be 18 next year. Incarceration for him will be very significantly more challenging for him than the vast majority of others.

"Nothing that will happen to Rocky Price will plug the whole Lindsay’s family now feel.

"The public can be reassured that the system is involved in assessing and reviewing safeguards in the future."

The murder of Lindsay Birbeck

Investigations continuing after first trial collapsed

Following Price's conviction, reporting restrictions covering his anonymity were lifted by a judge.

Mrs Justice Yip ruled that the public interest in knowing the identity of Lindsay's killer outweighed concerns over his welfare.

The judge also lifted reporting restrictions which prohibited the press from reporting why the first murder trial collapsed in March.

It emerged that an unconnected investigation into an allegation of false imprisonment had revealed mobile phone footage of a young man discussing parts of the murder case and saying he was involved with the killing and the disposal of the body.

A new probe involving around 25 officers was instigated but it concluded the information on the video clip was false.

Price’s defence team successfully applied to discharge the jury as they submitted their client could not have a fair trial and they needed time to explore the uncovered material.

The matter was resolved ahead of the second trial and reporting restrictions were lifted following Price’s conviction for murder.

Inquiries continue into the unrelated case after a 22-year-old man, a 22-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, all from Accrington, were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and assault before being released under investigation.