Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Maureen Cosgrove

Summing Up

The jury found Maben guilty of murder in short order. Judge Jeremy Roberts had mercy on the unemployed murderer, facing a life sentence, reducing his sentence to a minimum of 13 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. Although the judge considered Cosgrove's murder a premeditated act by Maben, Roberts said that it was out of character for Maben and found that he had been under "enormous pressure" because of Cosgrove's feelings toward him. Roberts believed that Maben must have seen murder as his only option to remain with the woman he loved, and their baby.

"It was illustrated by your prayer for forgiveness which was recorded by police," Roberts told the defendant as he pronounced sentence. "It was no one's fault that the situation developed where your relationship with Lucy, whom you loved deeply, and her mother, whom you must have seen as an obstacle, drove you to such an act of desperation."

Outside the courthouse, DCI McFarlane concluded that the entire ordeal was "terrible" for the families on both sides, but was especially terrible for Lucy: "She has a child by the killer of her own mother...Maben was a cool, manipulative character throughout the investigation. But here, where he lets down his guard, we hear the motivation behind his actions. He liked to control, but Maureen Cosgrove would not be controlled. Their relationship had seriously deteriorated and he was resentful of her positive influence on her daughter. He wanted Maureen out of the way so that he could take control of Lucy's life.

"During the trial," he continued, "he has sought to avoid responsibility for his actions and tried to blame everyone but himself. He committed an unforgivable crime against a family that took him in and supported him. Their bravery in the face of the loss of a loving mother is commendable. They should have been looking forward to many more years of happy family life and George Maben has robbed them of that future."

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