‘Psychopathic monster’ Anwar Rosser will die in jail for savage killing of little twin boy

Sadistic murderer Anwar Rosser, who will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the savage killing of four-year-old Riley Turner, from Keighley

Riley Turner

First published in News by

The “psychopathic monster” who savagely murdered four-year-old Keighley boy Riley Turner must never be allowed to walk the streets again.

That was the resounding message from community leaders this week as one MP told the Keighley News the sadistic slaying of the youngster supported the case for the restoration of the death penalty.

Anwar (Danny) Rosser was jailed for a whole life term at Bradford Crown Court last Thursday after a judge branded him “an exceptionally dangerous man”, who could kill another child.

Rosser, 33, pleaded guilty to the murder of twin boy Riley (left) who was strangled and stabbed repeatedly while he slept in his bed at the family home in Harewood Road, Bracken Bank, in the early hours of January 20 last year.

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said it was appropriate that just this week the Court of Appeal had upheld judges’ rights to jail the most serious offenders for the rest of their lives.

“I’m glad Rosser got a whole life term – that’s what he deserves,” he said.

“When people commit such a heinous crime, particularly to a child, the maximum sentence has to be imposed.

“There should be no ‘get out of jail’ clause for this individual.”

His fellow Tory MP, Philip Davies, said: “This was an appalling crime, which has shocked people across the country.

“I totally support the judge imposing a whole-life tariff. This terrible example of an evil crime is why I support the death penalty.”

Ward councillor Keith Dredge praised the community for their reaction following the horrific murder.

“It has coped well in the aftermath of what was an awful tragedy,” he said.

“The fact the perpetrator is now locked up is a positive outcome from a terrible situation.”

His ward colleague, Coun Jan Smithies, said: “Rosser is a very dangerous man and the sentence reflects that.

“No sentence could compensate the family for what they have been through, but it is some consolation this man is now off the streets.”

She said many in the area seemed to have moved on following the tragedy, although life would never be the same for Riley’s family and close friends.

“I think the swift police action to catch a suspect – who was subsequently charged – helped ease immediate fears and tensions,” she added.

“The work Worth Valley Primary School – where Riley was a pupil – undertook with his classmates and all pupils and their families really helped children and their parents come to terms with the tragedy in their own ways.”

The school said a trim trail was being installed in the playground in Riley’s memory, and an official opening and plaque unveiling will be held when it is complete.

When Rosser’s sentence was announced in the crown court, Riley’s family and their friends erupted in a mixture of relief and rage.

The packed public gallery, containing Riley’s mother, grandparents and other close relatives had behaved with great dignity earlier in the case, crying quietly as the terrible details of the little boy’s murder were outlined.

Police officers had escorted some family members from court at one stage to spare them the full details of what happened to Riley.

But when sentence was passed, people stood up and hurled abuse at ex-soldier Rosser.

The public gallery was cleared and the judge continued to address Rosser saying: “You will remain in prison for the rest of your natural life.”

Rosser, a part-time chef, was allowed to sleep on the sofa when he turned up drunk at the home of Riley’s mother, Sharon Smith, and his stepfather, Guy Earwaker.

Riley and his identical twin brother, Mackenzie, slept in separate bedrooms, and his parents and baby brother, Tyler, shared another room.

The couple took pity on Rosser, who lived over the road, because he said people he owed money to were waiting outside his flat that night.

While the family slept, Rosser went upstairs with four knives and murdered Riley. The youngster was strangled and suffered multiple stab and incised wounds.

Mr Earwaker saw Riley’s bedroom light on and found his bloodstained body.

He bravely chased Rosser down the street before carrying the dead child in his arms to a neighbour’s house.

Rosser was discovered in a caravan on a smallholding. There were blood smears on the caravan and the snow surrounding it.

He said: “I have ruined my life.” He later told police he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Order, which was a lie.

He had spent four years in the army serving with the Royal Artillery but he never saw active service.

On Thursday, Rosser, wearing a black jacket, blue shirt and blue trousers, sat in a secure dock flanked by five prison officers.

His hands were clasped and his head bowed as Paul Greaney QC, barrister for the Crown, said: “By any standard, the circumstances of the killing were appalling, involving a savage level of violence.”

Mr Justice Coulson said Riley’s murder was a gross breach of the trust of Riley’s mother and stepfather.

“They had taken pity on you and allowed you to stay, trusting you to share their home with their children.

“Your response was the savage murder of their son as he slept in his own bed,” he told Rosser.

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