Rocky Price, the teenager who killed Lindsay Birbeck, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday morning.

Judge Amanda Justice Yip told the 17-year-old he would have to serve a minimum of 16 years behind bars.

During the sentencing hearing, a victim personal statement from Mrs Birbeck's daughter, Sarah Birbeck was read to the court as part of the prosecution's submissions.

In it, the 17-year-old said her mum 'would not leave us out of choice' and that when the police told her family they had found a body, 'we all knew it was her'.

The Bolton News:

Miss Birbeck's statement in full read: "On August 12, 2019, it was just like any normal day.

"I met my mum and went shopping for some new school uniform and arranged with her to have tea later the same day.

"Little did I know that day, when I said goodbye to her, it would be the last time I saw her alive.

"When I went round for tea and she wasn’t there. I sat waiting for her for over an hour with my boyfriend. I couldn’t understand where she could be.

The Bolton News:

"After an hour I left and went back home. I tried numerous times to contact her not knowing that she was already dead.

"As a family we have never had any contact with the police before but from the moment she was reported missing I felt like the police were constantly asking us questions and explaining what they were doing to find my mum.

"This felt very weird, like it happens to other families not ours.

"The next 12 days were absolutely awful not knowing where my mum was or what happened.

The Bolton News:

"Initially I think all the family thought she might have had an accident out walking but once mountain rescue had done their search I think deep down I knew it was going to be something bad.

"My mum would not leave us out of choice, I knew that.

"When the police told us they had found a body we all knew it was her. The last bit of hope we had that she might still be alive was gone.

"Over the past 12 months it had felt like it has not been real.

"We are a small, very close family and we are all suffering. My brother Steven and I have lost our mum.

"This wasn’t supposed to happen like this. We are going to grow up without her by our side.

"We will both have to get married without her there, have children and live the rest of our lives without her love and guidance.

"Steven recently won an award for apprentice of the year. He went to pick up the phone to let my mum know before the lawful realisation that she is no longer her.

The Bolton News:

"She is gone forever. Her brother Darryl, my uncle, is really struggling. They grew up very close and remained that way.

"When he married his wife Tracy, my mum sorted out a lot of the arrangements and my uncle said this was one of the best days of his life mainly thanks to her.

"My granddad has lost a daughter, he feels that you should not outlive your own child.

"My dad Tim was married to my mum although they had separated and I know he is finding it very difficult.

"He is now a single parent and having to make lots of decisions without my mum for guidance.

"I know he feels very sad for Steven and I that we have lost our mum and there is nothing he can do to take our pain away.

The Bolton News:

"My mum was a higher level teaching assistant and the irony is she would have taught boys like the defendant and would have tried her best to help him.

"To know now that he murdered her for absolutely no reason is heartbreaking and has not sunk in yet. Not within me or other members of my family.

"The fact that he has made us come to court and listen to every graphic detail of my mums murder when he could have saved us this pain by pleading guilty is unforgivable.

"All our lives are completely ruined and I don’t see how we will ever recover as a family as the void that has been left will never be filled."

Following the sentencing on Friday morning, Lindsay Birbeck's family issued the following statement: "As a family we are grateful that justice has been served and that the defendant has been given 16 years.

“No sentence will ever be long enough and we hope that he spends the rest of his life in prison so no other family have to go through this trauma.

"“We are all emotionally exhausted and feel completely and utterly numb.

"We are running on empty and feel that we cannot find any other words to describe our absolute heartbreak at losing Lindsay – we don’t feel that it has even began to sink in yet that she isn’t coming home.

“We cannot thank everybody enough for the compassion that they have shown to our family but we now feel we need to have some privacy so that we can start our grieving process and begin to come to terms with our terrible loss.”