A Suffolk mother who was stabbed to death in Australia was described as “energetic and beloved” as her killer was jailed.

The teenager, who cannot be named, stabbed Emma Lovell in Queensland and has been jailed for 14 years.

Mrs Lovell, 41, died from a knife wound to her heart at her home in North Lakes on Boxing Day in 2022 while fending off two intruders.

She was originally from Hasketon, outside Woodbridge, and lived with her husband, Lee, in Ipswich before they emigrated along with their two daughters to Australia in 2011.  

The attacker, now 19, had previously pleaded guilty to her murder.

At Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Monday, Justice Tom Sullivan said the attacker, then 17, had committed the “particularly heinous offence” after breaking into the property armed with a knife alongside another boy.

East Anglian Daily Times: Christina Lofthouse (left) with her best friend Emma Lovell (middle) and Emma's husband Lee Lovell (right)Christina Lofthouse (left) with her best friend Emma Lovell (middle) and Emma's husband Lee Lovell (right) (Image: Christina Lofthouse)

In his sentencing remarks, he said Mrs Lovell was described as “an energetic and beloved mother, wife, daughter, and sister”.

He added: “The Lovells were ordinary citizens enjoying their family life in their home where they were entitled to feel safe.

“What occurred on that Boxing Day evening violated that entirely.”

Her best friend, Christina Lofthouse, has also previously paid tribute to her and said they “had a friendship like no other”.

East Anglian Daily Times: Christina Lofthouse and Emma Lovell were best friends for 33 years.Christina Lofthouse and Emma Lovell were best friends for 33 years. (Image: Christina Lofthouse)

The teenager, accused of wielding the murder weapon, had also pleaded guilty to burglary, malicious acts with intent and assault occasioning bodily harm over an attack on Mr Lovell.

The couple had attempted to fend off the intruders after they had been woken by their dogs barking at about 11.30pm, the court heard.

Mr Lovell was injured during a “physical struggle directly outside the front door” which then moved to the front lawn, where his wife was fatally stabbed.

The second teenager being charged with the British mother’s murder is yet to enter any pleas.

The court heard the teen guilty of murder had been convicted of 84 offences in the past, including 16 involving unlawful entry or attempted entry of properties, but none had been violent.

Justice Sullivan said he had taken into account the teenager’s childhood of “deprivation” but also had to consider “the seriousness of the offending”.

He had turned to alcohol and drugs after the death of his grandmother when he was 14, the court heard.

Mrs Lovell’s death prompted outrage across Queensland and was one of many high-profile crimes that saw the state introduce stricter youth crime laws in 2023.