30 years for axe killings

The mask worn by Michael Kelly during the murders
The mask worn by Michael Kelly during the murders

A MAN who murdered a Banbury mother and son in a brutal axe attack has been sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison on Monday.

Michael Kelly, 46, from Hatch Road in Swindon, pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court to two counts of murder and GBH with intent following the attack 10 days before Christmas last year.

Police were called to the family’s home in Mold Crescent on December 13 after Kelly attacked his former partner Sally Cox and her 22-year-old son Martin Faulkner with a hatchet, while wearing a gruesome skull mask.

Ms Cox’s 19-year-old daughter Amy suffered serious head injuries jumping out of a first floor window, while her 13-year-old daughter escaped unharmed.

In a statement, the family said: “Today has seen justice done for Sally and Martin, although no sentence will ever be long enough for the hurt and suffering that he has put the family through, not least of all the suffering that Sally and Martin went through.

“He has also robbed two daughters of their mother and brother. The family would also like to thank Thames Valley Police for their help and support through this sad and meaningless loss.”

Det Ch Insp Peter Vigurs, the senior investigating officer, said he was pleased by the court’s decision. Kelly had moved into Ms Cox’s home in February last year, but the couple split in November. Police said Kelly could not deal with the separation.