“Eddie isn’t here to tell his story. He was brutally murdered by the woman that he loved.”Emma Kenny, Psychologist
Eddie Miller is born on the 30 June 1992 to mum Sara. She already has a daughter Vicky,“We felt blessed...the fact that I was fortunate enough to have one of each is a big blessing.”Sara Westle, Eddie’s mother
Photos capture just how happy a boy Eddie and according to Sara:
He was cheeky. He had a great sense of humour.
And his sense of humour makes him very popular,“If you were down he’d make you laugh.”Dylan Rockett, Eddie’s friend
But when Eddie’s just eleven years old, his parents’ divorce. He’s stays close to his dad, but lives with his mum in Eastwell, Leicestershire. The divorce brings mother and son even closer:
“He was a mummy’s boy...he would do anything for her. Absolutely anything.”Dylan Rockett
“He was a gentle giant. He was kind, considerate, very loyal, loving.”Emma Kenny, Psychologist
When Eddie leaves school, he gets a job as a barman at the Scalford Hall Hotel. He’s soon selected to go to college on a hotel management course.
Then, aged only 18, Eddie meets 29 year old mum of two, Michelle Mills:
“Well I kind of guessed that there was somebody on the scene because all of a sudden he was getting his hair perfect and going out with aftershave on; and making sure he had his teeth cleaned...and you were thinking, ‘oi, oi, what’s going on here?”Sara Westle
“I feel robbed...and stripped.”Sara Westle, Eddie’s mother“One of the things that’s kept Sara going through this tragedy is Eddie’s friends who go round and talk to her about Eddie, and help her remember the good times. And again this is absolute testament to a young man who was popular and well loved because his character was such a positive one.”Emma Kenny, PsychologistIn order that Eddie’s killing should have some meaning, Sara has since campaigned to raise the issue of male domestic violence,“She wants to turn something that’s negative into something that’s positive...and that’s just where Eddie gets his good heart and kind nature from, his mum...”Dylan Rockett, Eddie’s friend
“Eddie was a kind man who would never hurt anyone. I still can’t believe he’s gone. I want other men who are suffering at the hands of an abusive wife or girlfriend to seek help, so that nobody else loses their life like my son did.”Sara Westle is now a patron of Mankind, a charity for male victims of domestic violence:
“Domestic abuse against men is one of Britain’s last remaining taboos”Marks Brooks, chairman of Mankind
Mills the manipulator
“This case is a case of a manipulative, aggressive, controlling, violent offender, who killed her boyfriend.”Dr. Keri Nixon, Forensic PsychologistWould Mills be able to manipulate the jury in the same way she’d done with Eddie, his mother and the many before them?Her trial is set for March 2013 at Lincoln Crown Court.The mother of two will plead that she did kill her toy boy, but that she’s not responsible. She claims she loved Eddie. She claims that he was the one: She claims she was going to marry him. And she weeps as she says she didn’t mean to kill him;"I killed him but I didn't mean to kill him. I didn't want to kill him."She states it was self-defence. She testifies that Eddie had grabbed her round the throat twice before. She alleges that this was part of a pattern of domestic violence:“An eye witness had seen her with a black eye...I really wouldn’t be surprised if she did that to herself. That’s how devious she was.”Dylan Rockett, Eddie’s friend
But it’s the ability of Mills to talk openly about her alleged domestic abuse, both in the court and in the past, that potentially suggests she was never the abused;“...when she has an injury she will go round telling everybody about it, she’ll want attention. When somebody is in fear of somebody, that’s not the behaviour they exhibit...when we see domestic abuse victims...they hide it from people. They don’t show it off to people.”Dr. Keri NixonEddie’s friends and family completely reject the allegations that Eddie was violent. Her tales of Eddie stripping her naked, of strangling her with her own top and pushing her outside seem far-fetched.The jury and judge start to see through her.Mills claims her alleged history of sexual abuse caused her to have a dissociative episode. She says she was in this state and hearing voices when she lost control and killed her Eddie. So, out of the 24 stab wounds she inflicted, she says she only remembers delivering two.At one point in the trial Mills tells the jury that she had previously been abducted by aliens.The jury take just five hours to reach their verdict.On 26 April 2013 Michelle Mills is found guilty of the murder of Eddie Miller.The judge says her attempt to portrayal herself as a serial victim wasn’t convincing:"You did your best to hoodwink the jury. But they saw through you."
He sentences her to life imprisonment and orders her to serve a minimum of 15 years.As she leaves the court, she blows kisses to family members in the public gallery.
Mills the Murderer
Eddie is pronounced dead at the Queens Medical Centre at Nottingham.The police arrest Michelle Mills at the couple’s cottage. Eddie had moved in just two months previously.The police go to inform Sara that her son is dead. They knock on her door at 5:20am:“I can remember standing there thinking, ‘oh my goodness me, I must speak to Michelle. She must be devastated.’ It never occurred to me for one second that she would be the one that had done it. And I can remember saying to the policeman, ‘you best find the person that did this’.”Later that day, a family liaison officer informs Sara that Michelle is the killer:“Not only does Mills murder Eddie, she destroys Eddie’s mother’s life. This is a woman who believed that even though Mills was a messed up individual, she was somebody who deserved sympathy and empathy and help; and she’d given it her. And to know that that woman had ruined her son’s, and her own life, is a double betrayal.”Emma Kenny, Psychologist
Playing the victim card
But even in custody, Mills refuses to accept responsibility.She tells police she’s a victim of domestic abuse,“...she reverted back to what she’s used throughout her entire life, the victim status.”Dr. Keri Nixon, Forensic PsychologistMills is charged with Eddie’s murder. She pleads not guilty. Dr. Keri Nixon believes that Mills thought she could get away with murder. She believes Mills had tried to use her next-door neighbour Geri as a witness,“...she’s not a stupid woman...she knew that the neighbour could hear, and she would then stage her actions, thinking ahead of an alibi to get out of this. She knew what she was going to do. She was going to play the victim card.”
“If you stab someone 24 times, you damn well mean them to be dead.”Geri Paynter, neighbourIt’s autumn 2012.In the picturesque, upmarket and quiet village of Scalford, Leicestershire, 20-year-old Eddie Miller is being subjected to another volley of violent abuse from his unstable girlfriend, the 31-year-old Michelle Mills:“They would argue on a regular basis, sometimes it was once a week, sometimes every ten days. It never went as long as two weeks without an argument.”Geri Paynter
Geri becomes used to their routine; argue, loudly, and then have make up sex, equally noisily.Despite his personal life spiralling out of control, professionally Eddie is succeeding. He receives a promotion to manager at the hotel. He and Mills go to tell his mum the good news:“I told him I was proud of him, how much I loved him. We just gave each other...it was a really embracing long hug. And you could tell that he left like the king of the castle sort of thing. And we all hugged together, and then they left.”Sara would never see her Eddie alive again.
It’s bonfire night.Eddie and Mills go drinking at their local pub, which has a fireworks display and where Mills has part time work. At first, the couple appear ‘lovey-dovey’.But eventually, inevitably, they argue. Eddie goes home alone.The time is approximately 9pm.Mills stays drinking. Once drunk, she heads home. Her neighbour Geri Paynter hears her return:“The first thing I heard was the argument that started at quarter to ten. And it was started like all the others. And I just thought, ‘Oh god, we’re in for it again!”“When Mills returns home they get into a fight. It turns out that Mills has been texting one of her ex-partners saying that she still loves him, wishes that she never left him. And I imagine that undoubtedly she’s coaxing him with this information. She’s trying to get him to rise to an argument, and it works because they get involved in a very, very big argument. Eddie must have felt so hurt, so let down, so upset. He’s put up with so much...and here is the woman that he loves saying that she wants to be with another man.”Emma Kenny, Psychologist
Neighbour Geri’s also pretty sick and tired of the whole pointless cycle. At about a quarter to midnight, she slams her door loud enough for Mills and Eddie to hear. For a brief few minutes, they seem to get the hint.And then the arguing starts again.Geri believes that what she hears next is evidence of Mills trying to manipulate. Mills is shouting,"get off me, get off me"...so that Geri can hear.Geri also hears Eddie shouting back,“It’s your fault, you’re the trouble maker. It’s your fault, you’re the one.”Eddie pushes Mills to the floor. In an attempt to calm things, or perhaps just sick of the whole thing, he sits on the sofa, and carries on drinking. But Eddie has resisted and pushed back against Mills. It is an unacceptable to Mills:“On that night...he argued back. He wasn’t being controlled the way that she controlled him usually. When somebody like this is told no, or somebody stands up to them, that’s when their anger increases.”Emma Kenny, PsychologistMills arms herself with a kitchen knife. She launches a frenzied attack;“She stabs him in the back, in the front...24 times. He literally did not have a chance.”Emma Kenny“It was with such ferocity that it pierced in one end and it had started to come out the other side.”Dylan Rockett, Eddie’s friendOne knife wound penetrates nine inches into the body. Such is the ferocity of the attack, Mills snaps the knife blade off the handle. Defence wounds on Eddie’s hands indicate he tries to protect himself. But the blows are too many. He’s stabbed in his chest, abdomen and back:“Had someone told me that it was a killing of passion, (I’d say) to them, you’re talking s**t because (with a passion killing)...once you’re done...you’re like ‘what have I done?’ And you will do anything in your power to rectify it. And you will show remorse...But she didn’t do that.She sat there and she watched him die.”Dylan RockettEddie is bleeding out before her eyes.Mills watches him. She waits 20 minutes to ring the emergency services.“I believe she planned to kill him, and I believe that in those 20 minutes she knew he was dying, and she let him die.”Dr. Keri Nixon, Forensic PsychologistHe’s still alive when the paramedics arrive.Mills doesn’t express remorse, or shock, or plead with the paramedics to save her Eddie. As her lover lies dying on the living room floor, she blames him for causing his own death.