Marcus Osborne, a 35-year-old resident of Harpe Inge Dalton, has been handed a life sentence by Leeds Crown Court for the shocking double murder of 27-year-old Katie Higton and 25-year-old Steven Harnett. The sentencing, which took place on March 1, followed Osborne’s admission of guilt for the heinous crimes committed at a residence on Harpe Inge on May 15, 2023.

Leeds Crown Court heard chilling details of Osborne’s actions that fateful night. He intruded into the Harpe Inge residence, previously shared with Katie, shortly after midnight on May 15. Threatening a woman present, Osborne awaited Katie’s return and, upon her arrival, viciously attacked her with a knife, resulting in fatal injuries.

Osborne then deviously used Katie’s phone to impersonate her, luring Steven Harnett to the address. Upon Steven’s arrival, he, too, fell victim to Osborne’s brutality, succumbing to multiple knife-inflicted injuries.

The gruesome incident was reported after 9 am on Monday when the previously held woman managed to escape. Osborne was swiftly identified as the prime suspect for both murders, subsequently turning himself in later that day, coinciding with ongoing arrest inquiries.

Detective Superintendent Alan Weekes who led the investigation into Osborne’s offending, said: “It is hard to understand the behaviour of anyone who acted as Osborne did in bringing horror to a family home. Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by his dreadful crimes.

“The absolutely brutal offences committed by Marcus Osborne during the morning of May 15 are some of the worst myself and other experienced homicide detectives have investigated in our careers.

“Osborne’s attacks on his victims were savage but also chillingly calculated in their execution. His behaviour can only be described as truly monstrous.

“The lengthy sentence handed down to Osborne today is justice served and will protect the public from this dangerous individual.”

In a statement, Katie’s family described the impact of her loss:

They said: “Katie was a shining, beautiful and deeply caring soul whose presence lit up any room from the moment she entered it.

“She was a much-loved mother, daughter, niece, granddaughter and sister and her loss has left a huge, gaping hole in the lives of her family and friends. We all continue to suffer from having her so brutally taken from us, and none more so than her four beautiful children. Their anguish has been almost impossible to bear.

“They have lost a mum who was absolutely dedicated to them.

“As a family we will all miss her laughter, her fun and jokes and we will never again have the joy of loving messages from her at special times or of spending precious moments with her.

“There is much we could say about the monster who took Katie from us. A man, if he can be called that, whose name does not deserve to even be mentioned within the same breath as hers. His sentencing today will not change the life sentence of loss he has inflicted upon us all. We want to thank all those who have supported us through such a horrific time.

“No family should have to endure what we have suffered, but the kind words have helped as we strive to remember the woman who was our world, and who touched the worlds of so many around her.

“We also wish to thank the investigation team at West Yorkshire Police who have supported our family through this unimaginable time and now ask that our privacy is respected.”