Sunday 11 December 2016

Becky Watts murder trial: Murder accused 'thought Becky Watts was in one of her tantrums'

Rod Minchin

Published 12/10/2015 | 17:37

Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire
Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

A woman accused of murdering Becky Watts with her partner giggled as she answered police questions about the day the 16-year-old died.

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Shauna Hoare, who is on trial with Becky's stepbrother Nathan Matthews, told police she thought the student was in a "tantrum" after hearing her stomping and the front door slam shut.

On the day of Becky's death, Hoare, 21, had gone with her 28-year-old boyfriend Matthews to the teenager's home in St George, Bristol to return a cake tin.

She told police that when they arrived at Becky's house they heard music coming from her bedroom upstairs and then a short time later a slamming a door as the teenager went out.

But prosecutors allege Hoare and Matthews had targeted Becky in a sexually motivated attack that day, which culminated in her death at Matthews' hands.

The jury has already heard that by the time Becky's stepmother Anjie Galsworthy returned home from a hospital appointment the teenager was already dead and her body hidden outside in the boot of Matthews and Hoare's car.

Shauna Hoare Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire
Shauna Hoare Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

Prosecutors allege they then drove her to them home at Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill and dismembered her body in the bath before hiding her remains in a friends' shed at nearby Barton Court.

In an interview recorded by the police and played to the jury at Bristol Crown Court, Hoare described events at Becky's home on February 19 this year.

She said that as soon as she arrived she heard music coming from the teenager's room and then went outside for a cigarette only returning inside to hear Becky leave.

"I heard stomping which made me think Becky left in a mood and was in one of her tantrums," Hoare said.

"I didn't see her. It was just an assumption she was in because I heard the music and I heard her coming down the stairs and the door shut.

"I went into the living room and Nathan was sat on the sofa and playing with his phone and the TV was on."

Hoare and Matthews were answering questions a week after Becky had disappeared and while police were in the middle of a large missing person inquiry.

She described how Mrs Galsworthy and Becky's father became increasingly concerned for her welfare because no one, including boyfriend Luke Oberhansli, had heard from her. She was reported missing the following day on February 20.

Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire
Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

"Anjie said to me that Becky wouldn't be stupid enough to get into a stranger's car but would she get into a car of someone she thinks she knows?," Hoare said.

"Was she talking to anyone on Facebook that Anjie or Darren or her friends didn't know about?"

Matthews gave a similar account to detectives as his girlfriend.

In transcripts read to the court, Matthews told police: "We turned up. I sat on the sofa and put CBeebies on. Shauna went to the kitchen and pinched a fag.

"She then went into the garden. Half an hour later she came back in.

"Obviously I heard the door slam. Obviously I didn't think anything of it. Obviously Shauna came back in and sat on the sofa. Obviously I was on my phone."

The jury also heard evidence from work colleagues of Donovan Demetrius, 29, who is on trial accused of assisting an offender.

They said he looked "visibly tired" the morning after he is accused of helping his brother Karl, 29, Karl's girlfriend Jaydene Parsons, 23, and Karl's work colleague James Ireland, 23, move Becky's dismembered body to a shed.

Danielle Wood, who worked with Demetrius at Home Bargains in Brislington, Bristol said he had discussed with her and colleagues some "dodgy dealings" that his brother was involved in.

"Ben and Landus were saying how tired he looked and he said he had been up all night waiting for his brother to do some dodgy dealings," she said.

"They were going to get a cut of money but I don't know how much."

Matthews, of Hazelbury Drive, Warmley, South Gloucestershire, denies murder and conspiracy to kidnap.

He has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, preventing burial of a corpse and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Hoare, of Cotton Mill Lane, Bristol, denies murder, conspiracy to kidnap, perverting the course of justice, preventing burial of a corpse and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Donovan Demetrius, 29, of Marsh Lane, Redfield, Bristol, and James Ireland, 23, of Richmond Villas, Avonmouth, each deny a charge of assisting an offender.

Karl Demetrius, 29, and his partner Jaydene Parsons, 23, both of Barton Court, Bristol, have pleaded guilty to assisting an offender after the teenager's body was discovered in their shed. Both maintain they were unaware of what the packages actually contained.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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