Man killed ex-partner and her new boyfriend – then invited neighbours to see their bodies

A man who stabbed to death his ex-partner and a man she was dating in a “ferocious” attack has been sentenced to a whole life order.

Marcus Osborne murdered Katie Higton, 27, and Steven Harnett, 25, in May last year.

He forced his way into the home he used to share with Ms Higton in Huddersfield and attacked her after she returned from a date at a cinema.

Prosecutors said she put up a “courageous struggle” but suffered 99 injuries.

Osborne, 35, then used her phone to lure Mr Harnett to the house, stabbing him 24 times and leaving him with mutilated genitals.

He also raped another woman who was at the house and held her at knifepoint overnight.

Leeds Crown Court heard four children were in the property at the time.

As he was led away after Friday’s sentencing, a family member shouted: “I hope you rot in hell”, while a statement by Ms Higton’s mother called Osborne a “monster of the worst kind”.

The murders happened soon after Ms Higton ended her five-year relationship with Osborne following a domestic violence incident in late April.

In phone calls to police, she said Osborne had told her “he would slit her throat if she said what he had done” and that “if she ever got a boyfriend he would kill them both”.

Ms Higton visited the police station on 10 May and Osborne was arrested two days later. However, he was released on bail and told not to return to the house.

He then spied on her before carrying out the killings on 15 May.

Osborne, who has convictions against two previous partners in 2011 and 2012, pleaded guilty to the murders as well as the rape.

The court heard he had found out about Ms Higton’s developing relationship with Mr Harnett by hacking into her Snapchat account.

Judge Mrs Justice Lambert said there were no mitigating factors.

“This is a case of such exceptional seriousness that even a very long minimum term would not be a just punishment. What you did that night was horrific,” she told Osborne.

She said the killings were driven by “pathological jealousy”.

“Everything you did was motivated by sex and your need to sexually humiliate and degrade,” the judge added.

Osbourne also received a 10-year concurrent sentence for the rape and false imprisonment of the other woman in the house.