Thursday 30 March 2017

Becky Watts 'told friend her stepbrother graphically described how he would kill her' - court hears

Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire
Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire
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 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.
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.
Shauna Hoare being interviewed by police
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 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

Claire Hayhurst and Rod Minchin

Bristol teenager Becky Watts told a friend her stepbrother graphically described how he would kill her in the years leading up to her death, a court heard.

Nathan Matthews, 28, is accused of murdering the 16-year-old with his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, in a sexually motivated kidnap plot in Bristol on February 19.

The couple allegedly dismembered Becky - Matthews's stepsister - into eight parts, which were discovered in a shed 80 metres from their home on March 3.

Bristol Crown Court heard Courtney Bicker, 17, one of Becky's best friends, gave an interview to police hours before the grim discovery was made outlining her relationship with the pair.

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.

"Becky's told me a few times, like this has happened a number of occasions, that Nathan would graphically describe - this is her exact words - how he would kill her," she said.

"And he said a few things, like, in the past like a bit gruesome, like, not necessarily about killing someone but about like wounds and stuff.

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.

"He'd describe it quite in detail but she mentioned it a few times, like it was troubling her the fact he said that and she did seem a bit scared of him."

Ms Bicker said Becky first mentioned the threats in 2013, when they became close friends, and again in 2014.

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.

She told police Matthews had never made such threats in front of her but Becky would tell her about them.

"I've heard him saying things like, little jokey comments like about hammers and stuff, like jokey stuff like that," she added.

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

"He said it to us and these weren't really alarming at the time obviously. She mentioned it a few times meaning that she felt he was serious, like she said that I think it scared her."

Ms Bicker said Matthews had told Becky how he would kill her but she never found of what method he would use.

Avon and Somerset police search around Barton Court in Bristol for missing teenager Rebecca Watts. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 3, 2015. Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour said in a statement:
Avon and Somerset police search around Barton Court in Bristol for missing teenager Rebecca Watts. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 3, 2015. Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour said in a statement: "As a result of new information received late last night, we attended a house at Barton Court in the Barton Hill area of Bristol. "The information suggested that Becky's body had been cut up and a search at the new location resulted in the discovery of body parts. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

"I think he said multiple different things because she brought it up quite a few times and it's like she said, 'he keeps graphically describing how he's going to kill me'.

"Obviously, I think she must not have taken any notice of it to still be around the guy."

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

Ms Bicker said she could not remember details of what Becky had told her but claimed Matthews had mentioned a sledgehammer on one occasion.

"They would just have a normal conversation and he'd bring it up," she said.

Police remove evidence from a property in Wilton Close, Bristol, in connection with missing Rebecca Watts (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
Police remove evidence from a property in Wilton Close, Bristol, in connection with missing Rebecca Watts (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

"Like, he'd bring up graphic kind of things now and again. She would have said if he hit her, I'm pretty sure she would have said that but I don't think any violence occurred.

"Every time she spoke about the stuff he did to her, like collectively, like she'd say it like usually all at once she seemed like she was scared of him."

Becky told Ms Bicker her stepbrother had threatened her "quite angrily like a proper threat" because she was doing something he did not like.

On another occasion, Becky recalled how Matthews had become "aggressive" in the lead up to the wedding of his mother, Anjie Galsworthy, to her father, Darren Galsworthy.

"When he was given his suit he got really angry and he basically threw a fit and she said that he's got anger problems," the teenager said.

Ms Bicker went on holiday to Butlins in 2014 with Hoare, Matthews, Becky and Mr and Mrs Galsworthy.

"She was repeating it before that he made some comment about ripping out her toenails, something like, with a... with a hammer or something," she said.

"I was sat on the couch next to Becky and he was standing in front and he actually did actions and stuff.

"Like pulling out the toenail with the end of a hammer or something like that, it was... we were just about, oh 'cause Becky checked her toenail at the time we went to Butlins before on the pool at Butlins and it was like... I think he was mentioning like ripping out her toenail based off that.

"Becky was like, like funny I guess, it was like that's his sense of humour kind of thing. But obviously she mentioned to me multiple times like you know, he graphically described how he would kill me kind of thing.

"It's like she wanted it off her chest and tell me and she obviously couldn't tell anybody else."

Ms Bicker told police Matthews owed Becky £100 but the teenager felt she couldn't mention it to her stepmother, as she would side with him.

The court heard Matthews purchased an Xbox from Becky, which she later bought back from him and he kept some of the "expensive games".

"He owed her money and he always ripped her off every time and she thought this is my family, they shouldn't rip me off like this and she's mentioned that to her grandma as well," Ms Bicker said.

"She spoke quite badly about him to her nan. He would kind of rip her off, give her a bad price and when she wanted the Xbox back he didn't give her all of it back, he kept some of the cables."

Ms Bicker told police Matthews was controlling of Hoare, who "got along quite well" with Becky.

"Becky said that Nathan wouldn't let Shauna cut her hair short and said he would buy her clothes to wear, it seemed really controlling but I don't think she realised it," she added.

Meanwhile, the grandmother of Nathan Matthews told the jury how his mental health deteriorated at the same time as his relationship with his stepsister Becky Watts.

Margaret May said her grandson did not like the teenager and was "annoyed" at the way she treated his mother Anjie Galsworthy - Becky's stepmother - who had been diagnosed with progressive MS.

"She was a teenager and we all know what teenagers can be like," Mrs May told Bristol Crown Court.

"It was usually just the way that Becky spoke to Anjie and expected her to do things that Anjie couldn't actually do any more, like clear up behind her, do the washing.

"He was annoyed with her."

Mrs May said Matthews' dislike of his stepsister started in the past year or 18 months as he became "paranoid" and hoarded things at his home in Cotton Mill Lane.

"When they first moved in there I went down there quite often and it was reasonably tidy," she said.

"Over time Nathan seemed to collect things and it just became a dumping ground for everything."

The mother-of-three said she brought up the state of the property, but Matthews "just laughed it off".

Mrs May said Matthews had lived with her from the age of seven to 23.

"I wouldn't say he was any different to any other child," she said.

But she told the court she did not approve of the relationship between her grandson and Hoare, which started when she was aged 15.

"She was much too young for him," she said.

"I didn't really approve because they did spend most of their time together and Nathan didn't do anything else.

"He became less interested in his appearance, he stopped working so that he could spend all the time with Shauna and he generally didn't seem that happy."

Under cross-examination from Adam Vaitilingam QC, representing Matthews, Mrs May confirmed that she never saw Matthews act violently towards his girlfriend or saw her with any injuries.

Mrs May said Hoare was the "most dominant" of the couple in many ways.

"She very often told him what to do. She seemed quite dominant in the way she spoke to him."

In police interview, Mrs May said her grandson tried to control his girlfriend but "she always got her own way".

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, deny the charge.

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