In 1996, James Patterson Smith reportedly abused his 17-year-old girlfriend, Kelly-Anne Bates, for more than a month before he ended her life. Smith and Kelly-Anne met while Kelly-Anne babysat the children of a friend. She was unaware Smith abused multiple young women prior. Despite their 32-year age difference, Kelly-Anne moved in with Smith. In England, the legal system considered Kelly-Anne an adult, so her parents could not force her to leave Smith. He killed her months later.
Like the infamous Hello Kitty murder, Kelly-Anne endured torture for an extended period of time. For at least four weeks, Smith maimed his live-in girlfriend using an array of tools and methods that left Kelly-Anne with about 150 different injuries at the time of her death. The coroner ruled the cause of death as drowning, and the courts sentenced Smith to life in prison. Reportedly, the jurors who tried Smith's case all accepted the court's offer of psychological counseling following the trial due to the traumatizing severity of his crimes.
James Smith and Kelly-Anne Bates reportedly started dating when Kelly-Anne was 14, yet they managed to keep their relationship a secret from her parents for two years. Her parents were unaware of the 32-year age difference when Kelly-Anne moved in with Smith in November 1995. Kelly-Anne moved in with him after she finished high school.
Even though she was only 17 at the time, she could legally decide to live with Smith in the eyes of the law.
Warning signs arose as Kelly-Anne's relationship with Smith progressed. Her parents noted how the 16-year-old repeatedly came home with bruises and bite marks, which Kelly-Anne dismissed. Reportedly, she once claimed a gang of girls attacked her after school to explain a black eye. Kelly-Anne also maintained her bite marks happened on "accident."
Kelly-Anne never revealed any of the abuse to her mother or father.
By March 1996, Kelly-Anne’s parents - Margaret and Tommy Bates - recall having intermittently talked with their daughter on the phone, but they never saw her once she moved out. They noted how Kelly-Anne quit her job that past December and didn’t come around for family events.
Concerned, they planned to confront Kelly-Anne at Smith’s residence but decided not to once another family member reported Kelly-Anne as okay. In the month before her death, Kelly-Anne’s family lost all contact with her.
A month prior to Kelly-Anne's death, Smith subjected her to horrific torture over a period of weeks. Reportedly, Smith used knives, pruning shears, forks, several pairs of scissors, and a spade to systematically harm the teen. He also burned Kelly-Anne all over her body using hot irons and scalding water.
The coroner reported Kelly-Anne had a broken arm and shattered kneecaps. According to her autopsy results, Smith gouged out her eyes three weeks before she died, and Kelly-Anne sustained approximately 150 injuries in total.