On 16 April, 1996, 17-year-old Kelly Anne Bates was drowned in a bath tub, after suffering four weeks of constant torture at the hands of her 48-year-old “partner,” James Patterson Smith, who had started grooming the Manchester schoolgirl when she was just 14-years-old.
Bates had met Smith while she was babysitting for one of his friends. Playing the perfect gentleman, he walked her home that night to “keep her safe.”1 The grooming process was so secretive that Bates’ parents didn’t even meet Smith until two years later, when they were finally introduced to the much-older man. They had spoken to him on the phone but were completely oblivious to his age. They became concerned immediately after the first introduction. How could they not? Bates was just a teenage girl and Smith was a divorcee in his late 40s. “When I first met him, the hairs went up on the back of my neck,” recalled her mother, Margaret.2
While growing up, Bates was a strong girl that loved playing sports. She dreamed of becoming a teacher and she attended college while working for a graphics firm. She had future plans and she had ambitions. However, after meeting Smith, she completely changed. She stopped showering and would spend hours just curled up on the sofa in complete silence. “She came home and one side of her face was black. She said some girls had attacked her. I couldn’t bear the worry, but I knew if I dragged her away from him, I could lose her,” said Margaret.
Then one day, Bates came home and told her parents that she had a new job and that she wouldn’t be able to see them as much. She left the family home for good on the 30th of November, 1995, and moved into Smith’s two-bedroom semi-detached house in Furnival Road, Gorton. Bates continued to speak to her parents on the phone but they never saw her alive again.
As soon as she moved in with him, Bates was methodically ostracised from her family and friends. When the phone calls back home became sporadic and the birthday and Christmas cards were signed by Smith and not Bates, her family became increasingly concerned for her well-being and contacted their doctor and the police. However, Bates was never checked up on by either due to the fact that she was now a legal adult. Her parents were apprehensive about going to the house and checking up on her as they were afraid that their interference could backfire and push their daughter even further away. This is a decision they regret every single day.
In the weeks before her death, Bates had suffered unimaginable torture.
On the 16th of April, 1996, Smith walked to a local police station and said that Bates was dead. When police rushed to the scene, they found her naked and lifeless body on the bathroom floor. Smith claimed they had been “going at it” in the bath when she swallowed water and accidentally died.3 However, it was as clear as day that this was no accident.
An investigation showed that Bates’ blood was in every single room of the house; her autopsy concluded that there were over 150 separate injuries on her body. They were not the result of one sudden eruption of violence, either. Bates had been systematically tortured over a prolonged period.
In the four weeks leading to her grim death, Bates had been burnt with cigarettes and branded on the thigh with a hot iron. Boiling hot water had been poured over her feet and her buttocks. She had multiple stab wounds caused by knives, forks, and scissors. Stab wounds were even found on the inside of her mouth. A ligature mark on her neck indicated she had been strangled and she had been tied by her hair to a radiator. At some point during the four weeks, her hands and kneecaps had been crushed, rendering her unable to walk and therefore escape. She had been partially scalped. Her ears, nose, mouth, lips, and genitalia had been mutilated. Both of her eyes had been gauged out and her empty eye sockets had been stabbed. It was determined that Bates could have been blinded up to three weeks before finally perishing.
She had also been starved and hadn’t been given water for several days before she died. Before she drowned, she had been beaten over the head with the shower head. Her death “must have been merciful,” the jury would be told.
Bates’ father, Tommy, had the grim task of identifying his daughter’s body. “People called him an animal, but an animal wouldn’t do that to another animal. He is a very evil man. I think about how much pain she must have been in, how she must have thought we didn’t love her because we didn’t save her,” said her mother.
As it would soon be discovered, Smith had a history of violence towards women. In 1982, he had groomed 15-year-old Wendy Mottershead. During the trial, she told the court that he once held her head under water in the kitchen sink. “It frightened me, but you get to the point where you’re too frightened to do or say anything. You just took it.” Another woman, Tina Martin, who met Smith when she was 20, told the court that he used her as a human punchbag. She told the stunned court room how he kicked and punched her, even when she was pregnant with his child. “Once I was having a bath and he got me by the throat and tried to push me under the water.”4
During the trial, Smith claimed that Bates “would put me through hell winding me up.” In an attempt to excuse his violent actions, he told the jury that Bates taunted him about his dead mother. When asked why he had inflicted so much torture on the teenager, he literally said she had asked him to. He suggested that she challenged him to hurt her and he was just complying to his wishes… He had earlier said in a statement that Bates had “a bad habit of hurting herself to make it look worse on me.”
The evidence presented at trial was so disturbing that every member of the jury accepted professional counselling afterwards.
The jury of seven men and five women took just one hour to find James Patterson Smith guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The judge recommended that Smith serve a minimum of 20 years. He turned to Smith and said: “You are an abuser of women and I intent, so far as it is in my power, that you will abuse no more.”
This is so disturbing…. that poor girl and 20 years? That is such a crap sentence. He will only be in his 60s when he has a chance of getting out!!
The judge recommended a minimum of 20 years but he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
That means he gets a life sentence, but after 20 years he is eligible for parole and could have a supervised release from prison at that time. He’ll have to visit the parole board and tell them why he thinks he’s ready to be free so.. he’s probably still going to be a piece of shit 20 years from now so we’ll see.
“Probably” still going to be a POS 20 years from now. Nah he for sure is, he’s pure, unadulterated evil incarnate
They should of given him a death sentence and not let him have a last meal. For the shit he did to her i wish he has a life of painful guilt.
There is no death penalty in the UK.
Makes me sick. A judge just handed my brother a 27 year sentence for being on drugs. He did no violant crimes, wasnt a thieve, wasnt an abuser, had a good job and a productive member of society. He is simply an addict . 27 years for that my brother will 73 yrars old when he gets out. And then there is this scum getting 20 years with life to go free afterwards. SICKENING. ABSOLUTELY SICKENING.
27 years is a very serious tariff. If true, you’re not telling us the whole story…you don’t get anywhere near that long a sentence for ‘being on drugs’.
You don’t get 27 years for just being an addict. Your brother either had several previous convictions, or was caught with enough drugs to get an attempt to distribute charge on top of the possession charge. Especially if it’s cocaine or heroin.
Out by now!
Well he had the right idea, just too bad he had to fuck it up & go to the pigs
There are some people on this planet who should never have any access to the internet. Morons like you simply shouldn’t have a voice. Your parents must have done a wonderful job of dragging you up. The only saving grace is that karma will definitely catch up with you; hopefully sooner rather than later.
Nicely put , my dear. I would not have been so polite.
Yeah well let’s wait until karma happens. You fool wouldn’t you understand the fact Karma might not even be real? Karma is just shit made up by society to stop society from railing off the tracks. I bet even the type of GOD described in books and mythos and religions are probably fake.
Totally agree, Norm Bates. How much better this world would be if people like Mr. Patterson Smith were the norm instead of being so depressingly rare.
Your a dead set gronk mate
I sincerely hope you get cancer you sick fuck. Pathetic cunt.
Well moonshine, maybe one day you’ll get to meet someone just like him who will torture you and kill you the way he did to kelly! I’m rooting for that!
Lmao. Y’all crack me up. Are some of u in Australia? Just asking cuz u talk differently than we do.
You think that is normal your definitely not right for this world
There’s a special place in hell for ppl like you & your sick buddies on here & in the world!! I know your only saying this to get attention & unfortunately we are giving it to you!! I hope by now you all are burning in that special hell reserved for all you sick pos’s!!
The sick pos that did this to Kelly Ann should have been made to suffer the same things he did to her & for the same length of time!!!
You disgusting vile scum.
Fuckin retarded cunt
Yeah, he’s a goof, but you don’t have to use derogatory terms pertaining to intellectual disability and female genitalia to insult the pos.
The fuck kinda comment is that?? Damn, u a sick bastard
Like you even know rights. You stupid wanker
Poor Norm, I bet he doesn’t have any friends and probably didn’t finish school so he probably can’t get a decent job. But he probably did have a sad childhood where he was smacked up side the head regularly and he can’t regulate his emotions or deal with the anger so he sits on his computer all day wishing to get attention in the only way he knows how, he says outlandish shit on posts he knows will get him the thing he craves, acknowledgement.
Worse than the case of Sylvia Liken, Just bone chilling. How does the human body take such abuse without succumbing? Her parents share the blame. I have sons, and would never stay away from them, especially if I had reason to suspect they were in danger. She wasn’t an adult, she was a teenager. Even if she were 35, that’s no excuse. How horribly sad. Her murderer is probably free by now, looking for other victims. He won’t stop. European countries are lax on punishment for violent crimes. They are ignorant.
Though I agree that this case is worse than that of Sylvia Likens, releasing ringleader Gertrude Baniszewski from prison after 19 years was still wrong in view of all the terrible things she did to Sylvia. And her helpers got off even more lightly, thanks to their ages. Re: “European countries are lax on punishment for violent crimes.” Not with the blessing of the general public – at least not here in the UK, where complaints about sentences being too lenient have been commonplace for as long as I can remember. Re: “They are ignorant.” There is a lot more… Read more »
Margaret once spoke about kelly-Anne saying, “Kelly was the kind of people that if ‘black’ was ‘white’ it was ‘white’. It wouldn’t matter what you say. It wouldn’t change it.”
It’s easy to blame the parents. But not as easy as it looked. They tried their best. And the more they tried to stop her from being with him, the less contact she had with her parents and it became the more control he had on her. If the parents tried dragging her out of his house then they’ve lost her. And there’s nobody to blame; only the monster.
Your a Dumb Bitch to Blame the Parents. They already been through enough.. It is Sad when you have to Bury your Child because of Some As-hole. I can write a Book on the Subject FRONT AN BACK, BACK TO FRONT………..
Her family knew she was in danger. I rescued my son from across the country when he was in trouble. You NEVER lose track of your children. She was 16, a child. Are you serious? Her parents share in the blame. I stand by that. I may be a dumb bitch according to you but my kids are safe and well. It’s not always easy trying to protect children but you don’t give up.
This is why every female im with , or is talking to…I dont want them to feel uncomfortable
Horrifying case — every bit as disturbing and heartbreaking as the story of Sylvia Likens here in the States. Smith is a poster-child for human depravity, cruelty, and sheer evil.
what was Kelly Anne like as a child? I hope that doesn’t sound weird. But I feel like people don’t focus as much on what the victims’ life was like. I know it said she wanted to be a teacher and she did sports but that’s really vague.
just wanna reassure anyone else reading this article that as of 2020, Smith is still in prison. a minimum of 20 years means he was up for parole after serving 20 years. and no person in their right mind would release a man who gouged out a teenager’s eyes and then stabbed the sockets. he is going to die alone in prison as a sick sad old man.
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Lol, Lolololol-Omg this is so funny, I mean the fact that everyone in the jury had to get professional help, lol..Sure the torture sounded bad, but lol