Saturday 1 October 2016

Becky Watts murder trial: Stepbrother 'strangled her after kidnap attempt to scare her went wrong'

Claire Hayhurst and Rod Minchin

Published 21/10/2015 | 23:47

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

The stepbrother of Becky Watts claimed he strangled her after a kidnap attempt to "scare her" went wrong, a court heard.

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Nathan Matthews, 28, said he brought a "large bag, a stun device, handcuffs, tape and mask" to her home in Crown Hill, Bristol, on February 19.

Bristol Crown Court heard former TA soldier Matthews told police he decided to kidnap Becky to "make her more appreciative of life".

He made the claims in a prepared statement read to officers during an interview at 10.24pm on March 2, which led them to her body parts.

Undated handout photo issued by Avon & Somerset Police of scene photographs released in the Becky Watts murder trial, of the bathroom at 14 Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill, the home of her stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, where it is alleged that the teenagers body was driven to on the night of her alleged murder and later dismembered in the bathroom. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 13, 2015. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon & Somerset Police/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Undated handout photo issued by Avon & Somerset Police of scene photographs released in the Becky Watts murder trial, of the bathroom at 14 Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill, the home of her stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, where it is alleged that the teenagers body was driven to on the night of her alleged murder and later dismembered in the bathroom. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 13, 2015. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon & Somerset Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Matthews and his girlfriend, Shauna Hoare, 21, were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping Becky and later charged with her murder, which they both deny.

They are accused of dismembering Becky into eight parts, which were discovered in a shed 80 metres (260ft) from their home on March 3.

Undated handout photo issued by Avon & Somerset Police of scene photographs released in the Becky Watts murder trial, of her bedroom at 18 Crown Hill, St George, Bristol, where she was allegedly murdered by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 13, 2015. It is claimed Matthews and Hoare targeted Becky in a sexually motivated kidnap plot on February 19 this year, which culminated in her death. Her body was put in the boot of their Vauxhall Zafira before being driven on the night of the alleged murder to their home at 14 Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill and later dismembered in the bathroom. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon & Somerset Police/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Undated handout photo issued by Avon & Somerset Police of scene photographs released in the Becky Watts murder trial, of her bedroom at 18 Crown Hill, St George, Bristol, where she was allegedly murdered by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 13, 2015. It is claimed Matthews and Hoare targeted Becky in a sexually motivated kidnap plot on February 19 this year, which culminated in her death. Her body was put in the boot of their Vauxhall Zafira before being driven on the night of the alleged murder to their home at 14 Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill and later dismembered in the bathroom. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon & Somerset Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The jury were told that before Matthews's statement was read, he said: "Do I have to listen to it or can I put my fingers in my ears?"

In the statement, Matthews described going to Becky's home with Hoare, the carer of his mother Anjie Galsworthy - Becky's stepmother.

Undated handout photo issued by Avon & Somerset Police of scene photographs released in the Becky Watts murder trial, of her bedroom at 18 Crown Hill, St George, Bristol, where she was allegedly murdered by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 13, 2015. It is claimed Matthews and Hoare targeted Becky in a sexually motivated kidnap plot on February 19 this year, which culminated in her death. Her body was put in the boot of their Vauxhall Zafira before being driven on the night of the alleged murder to their home at 14 Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill and later dismembered in the bathroom. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon & Somerset Police/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Undated handout photo issued by Avon & Somerset Police of scene photographs released in the Becky Watts murder trial, of her bedroom at 18 Crown Hill, St George, Bristol, where she was allegedly murdered by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 13, 2015. It is claimed Matthews and Hoare targeted Becky in a sexually motivated kidnap plot on February 19 this year, which culminated in her death. Her body was put in the boot of their Vauxhall Zafira before being driven on the night of the alleged murder to their home at 14 Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill and later dismembered in the bathroom. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon & Somerset Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

"In my car I had a large bag, a stun device, handcuffs, tape and mask," he said.

"I had developed an idea to scare Rebecca by kidnapping her.

A police van believed to be carrying Nathan Matthews arrives at Bristol Magistrate's Court, Bristol, where he was due to appear charged with the murder of his stepsister Becky Watts. Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A police van believed to be carrying Nathan Matthews arrives at Bristol Magistrate's Court, Bristol, where he was due to appear charged with the murder of his stepsister Becky Watts. Steve Parsons/PA Wire

"I wanted to kidnap her to scare her and teach her a lesson.

"I believe that she was selfish and her behaviour towards my mother was a risk to her health."

A candle burns besides a photograph of Becky Watts at St Ambrose Church, as her stepbrother Nathan Matthews was been charged with her murder. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
A candle burns besides a photograph of Becky Watts at St Ambrose Church, as her stepbrother Nathan Matthews was been charged with her murder. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Matthews claimed the couple let themselves in using a key left outside before Hoare went out to the garden to smoke.

"I went to the boot of my car and took out a bag which contained the other items," Matthews said.

"I think I then took the items out of the bag before knocking on Rebecca's door.

"She replied 'What?' or 'Hello?' and I said 'Can I see you a minute' or similar words.

"Rebecca then opened the door.

"I am wearing a mask.

"I used the items I had to subdue Rebecca.

"During a short struggle my mask slipped and Rebecca was able to see my face.

"This caused me to panic and I strangled her when she was partially in the bag."

Matthews took the bag containing Becky, the items he used, and separate bag containing her phone, tablet, laptop, shoes, some clothes and a duvet cover, into the boot of his car.

After placing them in the boot of his Vauxhall Zafira, he returned to the house and behaved "normally" for the rest of the day.

He waited for Hoare to sleep then fetched the bags and brought them inside their home in Cotton Mill Lane, Bristol.

The following day, the couple went to Becky's home where Matthews acted normally before they returned home.

"I again waited for Shauna to go to sleep; this time I collect the bag with Rebecca's body and take it to the bathroom," he told police.

"I took the body out of the bag and placed it in the bath."

At some point over the following days he left Hoare at his mother's home and returned to their property, he said.

"I tried to dispose of the body by cutting it up with a circular saw," he added.

"Initially I wrapped up the body parts and took them back downstairs and hid them."

Days later, he moved the body parts to a shed at 9 Barton Court with two unnamed men.

Matthews said he was giving a statement to police as he believed he had mental health and learning difficulties that made "it difficult to say out loud".

"I would like to add that my denials to date have been motivated in part by a wish to avoid the pain and disappointment these admissions would cause to my partner and family," he said.

Becky's aunt Sarah Broom, and grandfather, John Galsworthy, sat in the public gallery of court room two to listen to Matthews's account.

In interviews the following day, Matthews asked police not to use his partner's name and sobbed throughout.

When asked about his idea to kidnap Becky, he said: "I don't know if it was on TV or something like that but I had a couple of dreams.

"Obviously I came up with the idea to scare her to try and basically make her more appreciative of life, as she would be appreciative of other people.

"She would be grateful that she wasn't harmed."

He planned to force her in the suitcase, with tape over her mouth, and put her in his car.

"I was thinking of like a wooded area to take her back out, obviously still have the mask on and scare her along the lines of 'you have to start treating people better and not being a bitch or self-centred'," he said.

In an earlier interview on February 28, Matthews described himself as "emotionally unstable psychologically disturbed metrosexual Neanderthal".

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

He admits killing Becky, perverting the course of justice, preventing the 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.

The residents of the Barton Court property, Karl Demetrius, 30, and his partner Jaydene Parsons, 23, admit assisting an offender.

Donovan Demetrius - Karl's twin brother - of Marsh Lane, Bristol, and James Ireland, 23, of Richmond Villas, Avonmouth - a work colleague of Karl's - deny the charge.

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