A former amusement arcade worker faces two life sentences after he was today (Tuesday) found guilty of murdering his ex-partner and her nine-year-old son.
Daniel Boulton, 30, carried out the brutal killings just a day after sending his former girlfriend a text which read “nightmare on Holme street.”
The next day Boulton repeatedly stabbed Bethany Vincent, 26, and her son Darren Henson, known to his family as DJ, after walking 28 miles to their house in High Holme Road, Louth.
A jury heard Boulton calmly smoked a cigarette in the garden after carrying out the murders and walked away leaving an unharmed but “distressed” nine-month-old child crawling around the house.
Boulton then led police on a manhunt until the following day, burgling a cottage where he stole alcohol and food, and stabbing an off-duty police officer in the leg in the Hubbard’s Hills area of Louth.
He was tasered and arrested at a nearby farm in Hallington after trying to hijack two cars and encouraging armed officers to shoot him.
Boulton, who did not give evidence during his trial, admitted manslaughter but denied the two murders – telling a psychiatrist “autopilot did the job for me.”
But the jury rejected Boulton’s case that “he lost control” due to his personality disorder and took just two hours to convict him of both murders.
Ms Vincent’s mother, Caroline Vincent, and DJ’s father, Kieran Henson, were among those watching from the public gallery.
As the guilty verdicts were returned there were shouts of “yes” from the public gallery.
Boulton will be sentenced at 11am on Wednesday (February 2).
But the trial judge, Mr Justice Pepperall, told Boulton: “You have been convicted of the brutal murders of Bethany Vincent and her nine-year-old son, Darren Henson.
“The only sentences I can pass by law are ones of life imprisonment.”
His trial was told Boulton developed a “hatred” for DJ, who was autistic, and said he wanted to wipe out Ms Vincent’s bloodline.
Boulton walked from his hostel in Skegness to Ms Vincent’s home in High Holme Road, Louth, where he “loitered for hours” on May 31.
The day before at 4pm he sent Ms Stevenson a text which read “nightmare on Holme street”.
Addressing the jury in her closing speech, prosecution barrister Katherine Goddard QC said: “That was what he delivered.”
Shocked emergency workers found Ms Vincent’s body in her front room shortly after 8pm. DJ, who had gone to bed in his favourite Chelsea shirt, was also discovered dead upstairs.
As well as being stabbed through the heart, both Ms Vincent and DJ had suffered blunt force injuries. Other injuries to DJ’s legs were consistent with him being chased up the stairs by a man with a knife.
During the trial Caroline Vincent, Bethany’s mother and DJ’s grandmother, described how the three of them had enjoyed a “bedtime chat” on FaceTime shortly before Boulton kicked his way into the property and carried out the murders.
Mrs Vincent, who bravely gave her evidence in the courtroom without a screen, just a couple of metres from Boulton, said Bethany and DJ “were very happy”.
She told the jury: “DJ had his Chelsea football top on, he was going to sleep in it.”
Tragically, Mrs Vincent also revealed that Ms Vincent was due to move house just four days later to an adress unknown by Boulton.
Jurors heard that after the murders Boulton spent the night on the run.
At one stage he broke into an empty cottage at Hubbards Hills, on the outskirts of Louth, where he stole some alcohol, clothing and food and left a note saying “I, Daniel Boulton, take full responsibility”.
The next day he assaulted off-duty police officer PC Stephen Dennis who was walking his dog near Hubbards Hill, Louth, and tried to detain him.
Miss Goddard said: “On the morning of June 1, an off duty police officer, PC Dennis, was walking his dog close to the bungalow.
“He saw Mr Boulton was talking to another dog walker, an elderly woman, causing him to be concerned for her safety, so he approached Mr Boulton.
“There was a short confrontation, blows being exchanged between the two men, before Mr Boulton ran off pursued by PC Dennis and there was a second confrontation.
“During the second confrontation Mr Boulton pulled out a knife and stabbed PC Dennis in the leg.
“Once again Mr Boulton ran off but PC Dennis managed to contact his colleagues and soon the area was flooded with police.”
Boulton opened the door of a car containing a couple and a young child but fled after the father began “waving his arms” and then tried to get into a vehicle being driven by farm manager Greta Roberts.
Mrs Roberts described how she sped away after Boulton ran out from a silage shed with a rope around his neck and tried to get in to her car.
A short time later Boulton was cornered at Hallington House Farm and tasered after trying to get some of the armed officers to shoot him.
Miss Goddard said Boulton had previously expressed his intention to kill and made his way to Louth on foot where he chose not to harm the other child in the house.
“It was a man who had planned his actions, who was fully in control of them,” Miss Goddard added.
Jurors heard Boulton had a troubled childhood, repeatedly being expelled from school, and described his father as a “football hooligan who drank too much.”
He held a number of short term jobs, including one in an amusement arcade, but had not worked since 2019 and admitted to being a regular gambler who began binge drinking at the age of 13 and got into regular fights.
Two psychiatrists agreed Boulton was suffering from a dissocial personality disorder, but the prosecution argued Boulton was still capable of carefully planning the killings.
Boulton told defence psychiatrist Dr Pablo Vandenabeele he arrived at Ms Vincent’s home at midday on May 31, but she “kicked him out,” and he returned later.
Once inside Boulton said he begged Ms Vincent, but she kicked him over and laughed at him, so he went to get a knife from the kitchen.
“I guess I wanted to threaten her, I wanted to Romeo and Juliet her, I probably just wanted to kill myself,” Boulton said.
“It was like I wasn’t there, auto-pilot did the job for me.”
Boulton added: “It was like she went into the knife.”
He then went upstairs to DJ’s bedroom and inflicted the first wounds to his temple.
“The initial first few stabs weren’t me,” Boulton told Dr Vandenabeele.
The jury heard Ms Vincent began seeing Boulton in March 2019 and the relationship initially went well.
But Boulton became increasingly violent towards Ms Vincent and repeatedly broke a restraining order which prevented any contact between them.
Jurors heard Ms Vincent’s previous relationship with DJ’s father, Kieran Henson, broke down when he was just a toddler, but Mrs Vincent described him as an “excellent dad” who would see his son on weekends and in the holidays
During her evidence Mrs Vincent admitted Boulton initially “seemed a nice smart lad.”
The good period lasted for “some months,” until her daughter became distant, and gave up her job, Mrs Vincent told the jury.
“She didn’t want me to go round as much,” Mrs Vincent added. “He (Boulton) was staying alot.”
Mrs Vincent said she began to notice other changes.
“He (Boulton) was always with her, we didn’t seem to get much time with her, ” Mrs Vincent told the jury.
“He was quite possessive over her.”
The jury heard DJ was diagnosed with autism when he was two-and-a-half years old. Mrs Vincent said Boulton initially seemed fine with DJ but that changed later in the relationship.
“He (Boulton) said to us once he didn’t think DJ was autistic, he was just naughty.”
Mrs Vincent said the relationship became “on-off” and she would try to visit her daughter when Boulton wasn’t there.
“I knew he wasn’t treating my daughter properly,” Mrs Vincent told the jury. “He didn’t like me.”
After an incident at High Holme Road where police were called Boulton was the made the subject of a restraining order.
Mrs Vincent told the jury: “I got my daughter back.”
But Boulton continued to contact Ms Vincent and sent her nearly 900 messages on the weekend before the murders.
The Committee of Louth based charity Be Their Voice have released the following statement in response to the conviction of Daniel Boulton for the murder of Bethany Vincent and her son DJ:
“Our hearts and minds have never been far away from Bethany and DJ since their deaths, and never more so now. We shared in the shock of their deaths with our community, and from this developed our passion and commitment to ensure they did not die in vain.
“We will move forward to create a fitting legacy to them, by raising awareness of relationship and domestic abuse to help individuals recognise the early signs of toxic behaviours, and by signposting victims to support.
“We send our continued love and support to Bethany’s family and friends; and hope the creation of such a legacy brings a measure of peace and comfort to them moving forward.”
As police release three videos from the case, Detective Inspector Andy McWatt, from East Midlands Special Operation Unit, who led the investigation, said: “This was a very tragic and sad incident which not only shattered the world of Bethany and Darren’s family, but deeply affected the community and those entrusted to investigate and prosecute this horrendous offence.
“My deepest condolences go to the family who have shown such bravery throughout this investigation.
“I would also like to thank the local community and witnesses for their support during this trial, and recognise the work of our officers and teams, and the Crown Prosecution Service, who secured this conviction.
“I know the family will never get over losing their loved ones, but I hope this conviction gives them some closure.”