Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Don't Pray for My Murdered Daughter, I Pray for Her Killer; Mother of Stabbed Girl Says 18-Year-Old Needs Help to Reform

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Don't Pray for My Murdered Daughter, I Pray for Her Killer; Mother of Stabbed Girl Says 18-Year-Old Needs Help to Reform

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE GLENDINNING

THE mother of a girl stabbed to death at a party is praying for the teenager who killed her.

Mary Foley, whose 15-year-old daughter Charlotte Polius was knifed through the heart, hopes the 18-year-old killer will reform.

Beatriz Martins-Paes, from Brentwood, Essex, was found guilty of the murder of Charlotte at the 16th birthday party in Ilford last April. She will be sentenced next month.

Today, Charlotte's stepfather Paul Foley said the family's faith had helped them cope with their loss.

"We don't pray for Charlotte, we pray for Beatriz," he said.

"We have been praying for her and we will continue to pray for her and that it will help.

"Mary and I both pray for God's strength to release our forgiveness to these people. Mary is saying that this verdict means the girl will get help. She feels the girl needs a lot of help and this verdict will help her change.''

Charlotte was knifed after Martins-Paes challenged her, threatening: "Do you want to get shanked?" The month before, Martins-Paes, then 17, had an argument with one of her victim's friends when she was threatened with a knife.

Afterwards, she armed herself with two knives, carried in her handbag. She is believed to have taken one of the knives from a relative's home. She arrived at the party and lashed out at Charlotte when the other girl did not turn up.

Martins-Paes denied murder but admitted manslaughter, claiming that she had not intended to seriously harm Charlotte.

Mr Foley said: "We think it's definitely the right verdict. I mean, she had two knives in her bag. You're not exactly going out to play cricket, are you? …

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