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FACES OF EVIL; First picture of Edna's teenage killers.

Byline: Rachel Mainwaring

THESE are the never-seen-before pictures of two teenagers who horrifically mutilated a Welsh pensioner.

Tina Malloy and Maria Rossi strangled frail pensioner Edna Phillips with a dog chain before slashing her face and body with scissors, thick glass and a Stanley knife while high on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

The murder, which shocked the community of Aberdare, where the victim and her murderers lived, is retold in next week's Crime Secrets on ITV1 Wales.

And the policeman who investigated the appalling crime has recalled the vicious attack on the defenceless old woman.

Sergeant Gareth Jones, one of the investigating officers in the 1992 murder case, recalls: "She was strangled with the dog chain and then attacked with three horrendous implements - a Stanley knife, scissors and sliver of thick glass - to the point where her face was taken away.

"She must have suffered horrendously. It doesn't bear thinking about.

"This was a clean-living, warm lady. She was independent. She was murdered in her own home for being an unwanted neighbour."

Edna, 70, was a pensioner living on the Penywaun estate in the Aberdare valley, where she lived alone with her dog.

She was well known in the community and was considered a decent citizen but she had suffered years of verbal and physical abuse from the Rossi family for almost four years before the murders.

Then, on July 16, 1992, the abuse turned to violent murder after the evil pair had binged on cider and Tamazapan.

Edna was walking her dog when she exchanged words with Maria Rossi about her younger sister.

She returned to her house at around 10.45pm, allegedly came out again and then was ushered back in by Rossi and her friend Tina Molloy.

Edna's beloved dog was tied up outside and what followed is one of the most horrific attacks in Welsh murder history.

They virtually scalped the spinster after strangling her with her dog chain in a sustained and sinister attack.

She had 35 slash wounds in a criss-cross pattern on her face, three slash wounds on the neck and at least 15 to the chest.

Sgt Gareth Jones said: "The murder was horrific. The injuries you couldn't describe. Couple that scene to two teenage girls. I couldn't take it in."

The culprits were arrested within just 48 hours.

By then, Maria had told her family what she had done and even sang 'I Killed Edna' to the tune of Wizard of Oz.

In custody, Rossi and Molloy denied the murder at first but the weight of evidence was too great.

Rossi, who is now serving an indefinite jail sentence in Durham high security prison, had left a palm print in blood on the hearth of the fire.

Police also found the sliver of glass used to butcher Edna, which had Rossi's thumb print on it and there was more forensic evidence from the girls' shoes.

Sgt Jones said: "You thought this can't happen, they couldn't do a thing like that. But the evidence pointed to that. The interview team was appalled that two young girls could commit such an act of violence."

The teenagers - Rossi was 17 and Malloy, 18 - pleaded guilty to murdering Edna and were sentenced to life in prison.

Malloy claimed she could not remember the events of the night after the pair had binged on drink and drugs but Rossi was said to have shown no remorse.

Mr Justice Scott Baker told the pair: "You two young women are evil products of the modern age.

"No-one could be other than sickened at hearing the circumstances in which you mutilated and killed a defenceless old lady who caused no harm to anyone."

Crime Secrets is on ITV 1 Wales on Thursday at 11pm.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 8, 2002
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