Shropshire mother Lesley Speed guilty of murdering her son, Archie Spriggs, 7

By Ian Harvey | Church Stretton | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

Shropshire mother Lesley Speed has been found guilty of murdering her seven-year-old son Archie Spriggs at their home.

Lesley Speed murdered her son Archie Spriggs

Archie was strangled by Speed before he was left lying dead in his bed.

Speed murdered him hours before her partner Darren Jones arrived home from work and discovered the schoolboy.

As the verdict was announced by the jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday Speed collapsed in tears, shouting: “No, no you’ve got it wrong. My kids are my life, they’re my world. Nothing would make me take their life. My kids are my world.

“You’re wrong. Nothing would ever make me take him out of this world. It’s wrong. You’re wrong.”

Police at the murder scene

Speed suffered self-inflicted wounds to her neck, arm and wrist after carrying out the murder at the home in Rushbury Road, near Wall under Heywood in south Shropshire on September 21 last year.

The murder happened on the same day that Speed and Archie’s father Matthew Spriggs were due to attend family court in an acrimonious custody battle after he applied for a residency order. Speed, 44, did not show up at the hearing in Telford.

Coverage of the case:


Giving evidence during the trial, Speed told the jury of 10 women and two men that she didn’t kill Archie and that she had found him hanged.

She claimed her son, who attended Rushbury CofE Primary School, had talked of suicide in the past.

But Archie was described by both his GP and school as a very normal boy who did not appear to have problems.


The jury did not believe Speed’s version of events and yesterday found her guilty in a unanimous verdict.


The prosecution said Speed had killed Archie rather than see him leave with Mr Spriggs and had failed to prepare herself for the preliminary court hearing.

Amid dramatic scenes in court, there was shouts of “yes” in the public gallery where members of Archie’s family were sitting.

As Speed sobbed and shouted following the verdict, the judge Mr Justice Nichol asked that she be taken from the court. He thanked the jury for their deligence.

Speed was expected to be sentenced today and was due to reappear at court in Birmingham.

Ian Harvey

By Ian Harvey

Shropshire Star Internet Editor based at the head office in Ketley, Telford

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