Teenager who murdered teacher jailed for life, his parents wear T-shirts claiming he’s innocent


The teenage traveller who murdered teaching assistant Lindsay Birbeck has been jailed for life and will serve at least 16 years behind bars.

Rocky Marciano Price, 17, named after boxing legend Rocky Marciano, strangled the 47-year-old mother-of-two before hiding her in a wheelie bin and burying her naked body in Accrington cemetery, the same place where his grandfather, who shares his name, and other family members are buried.

Lindsay’s body was eventually discovered by a dog walker, wrapped in two plastic bags, on August 24 last year – 12 days after she went missing from home.

She 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.

He had tried to cut off her leg, possibly with a saw, with the judge noting the defendant hadn’t realise how difficult that was.

Sentencing Price to life, Justice Yip said today: ‘The attack was swift and brutal. I am sure the defendant lay in wait with the intention of killing a passing woman.

‘Why he decided to kill her only he knows. If it had not been Lindsay Birbeck, it could have been someone else. This was the entirely random killing of a stranger.’

Outside court following sentencing, members of the defendant’s family wore T-shirts with the words ‘Wrongly Convicted Free This Boy’ on the front. The back of the T-shirts read: ‘Murderer Still At Large’.

Price’s father, Creddy, 47, said: ‘Our son is innocent, he has not got the mental capacity to hurt anyone. He has come from a loving family. He has brothers and sisters that love him and they are all broken-hearted.

‘We are not going to stop fighting, if it takes us all our lives, to find this other man.

‘All he has been used to all his life is the outdoors and his animals. He loves his chickens, his horses, his dogs, his deers, the wildlife, that was his life.’

He said his son had been convicted on ‘circumstantial evidence’ and there was no DNA to link him to the murder.

Price’s mother, Martina, 39, said: ‘My boy is innocent.’

The T-shirts refer to Price’s defence that a mystery man had offered him ‘a lot of money ‘to ‘get rid’ of a body. The court found no evidence of the claim and it was dismissed by the jury.