November 2015

Becky Watts’ murderer sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 33 years

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Nathan Matthews could die behind bars after being sentenced to life imprisonment and told he will serve at least 33 years for the murder of his stepsister Becky Watts.

Girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, will serve 17 years’ imprisonment for the manslaughter of the 16-year-old.

Trial judge Mr Justice Dingemans’ voice broke as he sentenced the “corrupted and warped” couple and he later left the court in tears.

Forty of Becky’s family and friends – all wearing blue ribbons -saw Matthews and Hoare show no emotion as they were jailed at Bristol Crown Court.

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Jurors found Matthews, 28, guilty on Wednesday afternoon of murdering his stepsister during a sexually-motivated kidnap from her semi-detached home in Crown Hill, Bristol, on February 19.

Eight female members of the jury that heard the five-week case returned to watch the sentencing.

In his final speech the Judge said “utter devastation” has been wreaked on the lives of Becky’s family.

He added he was sure “that the planned kidnap of Becky was for a sexual purpose”.

Family-members nodded as the judge described Nathan Matthews as “a man of considerable arrogance” and said that some of the ways Becky’s remains were treated after her death “defied any reasonable explanation”.

Matthews shook his head and hunched over as the Judge listed the crimes he committed and said he had an obsession with petite teenage girls.

In February, Matthews and Hoare planned to kidnap the Bristol teenager.

When it failed, Matthews suffocated Becky in her bedroom before dragging her body into the boot of his Vauxhall Zafira and taking it to the home he shared with his girlfriend.

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Over the next three days Matthews bought an £80 Mac Allister circular saw, goggles, masks, bags, cling film and tape to cut up and package Becky’s body in the couple’s bath.

Packages containing Becky’s eight body parts were stored in suitcases and a box, then moved into a shed in Barton Court – just 80 metres away – in the early hours of February 24.

By that time, Avon and Somerset Police had launched the force’s largest missing person’s investigation, which culminated in Becky’s remains being discovered on March 3.

In a series of statements read out in Bristol Crown Court today, the parents of Becky said they were haunted by visions of her horrific murder and grotesque dismemberment.

Becky’s father Darren Galsworthy and his wife Anjie said the “heartless, cold and calculating” killers could never be forgiven.

“We will never understand why this has happened but we now believe we are victims in a plot of hatred and greed,” he said.

“This despicable act of evil can never be forgiven or forgotten. When the news came our entire world collapsed.

“I can’t describe the searing pain and anguish Anjie and I felt when Becky was found. The only way I can describe it is like being cast off a cliff into despair.”

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Former members of the jury sobbed and wiped away tears as Becky’s mum Tanya Watts also described her torment in a victim impact statement.

She said: “My beautiful, kind, funny, loving, loyal, feisty, creative daughter has been murdered.

“Every day has been a living nightmare and, if that wasn’t bad enough, for some reason that I will never be able to understand, after my daughter was murdered she was mutilated – cut into pieces.

“It is like the worst of all horror movies – but this is real.

“She was my child. She was only 16. How am I meant to cope with that? It is never-ending. I don’t want to remember Becky like this but the thought of her dismemberment is always at the forefront of my mind.”

Describing the moment she saw her daughter’s body in the mortuary, she said: “The image of Becky there wearing a bandage around her little wrist to cover up the cut marks: that image haunts me. Becky must have been so scared, thinking she was safely resting in her own bedroom, to be attacked like that.

“Knowing that her last moment was filled with fear and she would have fought for her life, it is just unbearable for us.”

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Today it was revealed Becky’s murderer sent a barely literate letter to his mother from prison in which he refused to apologise for killing his step-sister and chopping up his body.

Matthews told Anje Galsworthy, 49, he had not ‘ment (sic) to’ kill Becky in her Bristol home but could not explain more in case it was ‘missenterprated (sic)’.

His handwritten note, strewn with errors, was sent while he was in custody awaiting trial and before he was found guilty of murder by a jury after just three hours on Wednesday.

It said: ‘Hello mum I was told you wanted to ask me a question of ‘why’ and I know you are going to be very confused amongst other things.

‘I have been advised not to talk about my case as what I say can be missenterprated (sic) but I hope you can find some, even if it is a miniscule (sic) amount of resolution/help by me explaining to you that what has happened was not ment (sic) to.’

His mother Anjie said yesterday that he is a ‘monster’ but she still loves him and wants to visit him in prison.

She said: “He’s a different person, he’s not the child I remember bringing up.

“I still love him, I just find it hard looking at the monster he’s turned into. He’s totally different from the child I brought up.”

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A six-week trial heard how Nathan Matthews was a killer obsessed by violent pornography.

He is believed to have watched a film entitled “Virgin teen gets raped in own house” before he throttled 5ft 2in Becky Watts in her bedroom and then dismembered her body.

Police found a 17 minute pornographic film, which showed a victim being beaten up on her bed, among 236 images and 21 movies found on his laptop.

The case has echoes of a series of violent pornography-inspired attacks by child killers including Mark Bridger, who murdered April Jones, and Stuart Hazell, murderer of Tia Sharp.

A post-mortem examination found the teenager was suffocated during a “violent struggle” and suffered 15 stab wounds and a slash across her stomach after death.

Karl Demetrius, 30, and Jaydene Parsons, 23, who admitted assisting Matthews to hide Becky’s body parts in their shed, will not be sentenced today.

Timeline of events in the disappearance of Becky Watts

February 18, 2015Becky stays overnight at a friend’s house

 

February 19

 

Becky returns home to Crown Hill

 

She returns to her home in Crown Hill, St George, Bristol, at around 11.15 am. She left home with her phone, laptop and tablet computer but did not tell friends or family where she was going, or take extra clothing.

 

February 20

 

Becky Watts is reported missing

The teenager is reported missing by her family at 4pm.

 

February 23

 

Her family issue an appeal

Her father Darren Galsworthy and grandmother Pat Watts appeal for her to come home.

February 24

 

Police appeal to local communities to help find Becky

 

February 26

 

No evidence suggesting Becky has come to harm

 Detectives say there is “nothing to suggest” the missing 16-year-old has come to harm despite fears from her father that she may have been attacked.

 

February 27

 

Police carry out water searches

 Police carry out specialist open water searches at a pond in St George’s Park, which they say is a “routine” part of the investigation and not based on specific intelligence.

 

February 28

 

Two people arrested in connection with Becky’s disappearance

 

March 1

 

No significant clues from police searches

 

 

Police confirm that no significant items have been identified during searches carried out within a 1.25 mile radius of Becky’s home.

 

March 2

 

Police carry out further questioning

Police are given a further 36 hours to question two people arrested in connection with the disappearance.

 

March 2

 

Disappearance becomes a murder investigation

Police announce they are now treating Becky’s disappearance as a murder investigation. Two people in custody are rearrested on suspicion of murder.

 

March 3

 

Police make “significant discovery” overnight

Police announce they have found body parts in a house close to where Becky Watts disappeared.

 

March 4

Becky Watts’ step-brother charged with her murder

 

 

Nathan Matthews, step-brother of Becky Watts is charged with her murder. His girlfriend Shauna Hoare is charged with intending to pervert the course of justice.

 

June 22

 

Police charge Shauna Hoare with murder

 

October 5

 

Becky Watts murder trial begins

 

November 11

 

Nathan Matthews is convicted of murder and Shauna Hoare is convicted of manslaughter

 

November 13 

Matthews is jailed for at least 33 years for the murder of his stepsister Becky Watts, while his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, is sentenced to 17 years for manslaughter.