A TEENAGE killer who bludgeoned a schoolgirl to death with a cricket bat has failed to win a cut in his sentence.

Kieron Smith, now aged 27, was jailed for life at Liverpool Crown Court in January 2006 for the murder of 10-year-old Lauren Pilkington-Smith.

Lauren was found battered to death near her home in Leigh by her grandfather in July 2005.

The murder followed a game of cricket involving Smith, formerly of Pilling Street in Leigh, said Mr Justice Foskett, today, Tuesday.

The attack probably occurred as Smith - then aged 17 - and Lauren were walking back from the game through woodland.

The judge said: “He must have lost his temper for some unknown reason and mounted a sustained and violent attack on her."

"He hit her with something that either was - or was like - a cricket bat at least 10 times with the intention of killing her, albeit that the attack was not premeditated," the judge added.

After Lauren's death, Smith placed a twig in each of her nostrils and placed a sock in her mouth, before trying to conceal her body among undergrowth.

Smith was said to be ‘very immature’ when he killed Lauren, but Mr Justice Foskett observed: "He did not accept responsibility at the time and - as will appear - he has not accepted responsibility since then."

Mr Justice Foskett said he had shown no signs of remorse and is now considering an appeal against his murder conviction.

"None of the reports prepared upon him demonstrate any exceptional progress," the judge concluded after considering Smith's bid for a cut in his 15-year minimum sentence.

The ruling means that Smith will not be eligible to apply for parole before July 13 2020.

Even if freed, he will remain on perpetual life licence in the community, subject to prison recall.