Thursday 23 February 2017

Becky Watts trial: Murder accused 'exchanged messages about kidnapping girls', court hears

Claire Hayhurst and Rod Minchin

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

A couple accused of murdering Becky Watts exchanged messages about sex with teenagers and kidnapping schoolgirls, a court heard.

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

The couple allegedly dismembered 5ft 1in Becky into eight parts in their bath at their home in Bristol, which were later discovered in a garden shed near their home on March 2.

Bristol Crown Court heard Matthews and Hoare exchanged text and Facebook messages about schoolgirls and kidnap in November and December last year.

Shaun Groves, a crime intelligence analyst, told the court he had been able to attribute certain messages to either Hoare or Matthews, while others were unclear.

On November 20 during an exchange between 9.48pm and 9.58pm, one wrote: "lol but where's my lil sweat 16... ish. lmfao."

Matthews then allegedly wrote: "Blonde school girls I be tapping?! hmmmm lol xxx"

The court heard Hoare replied: "F*** me what version of Up did you watch lol xoxo"

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE
Undated handout still taken from CCTV issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Shauna Hoare being interviewed by police, she is on trial accused of murder and told police she did not see Becky Watts on the day she was killed by her own stepbrother. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 12, 2015. Police were in the middle of a large missing person inquiry after Becky's father Darren Galsworthy reported his daughter's disappearance on February 20. Six days later detectives recorded on camera an interview with Hoare in which she gave an account of her and her boyfriend Matthews' movements on the day Becky was last seen alive. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon and 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.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout still taken from CCTV issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Shauna Hoare being interviewed by police, she is on trial accused of murder and told police she did not see Becky Watts on the day she was killed by her own stepbrother. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 12, 2015. Police were in the middle of a large missing person inquiry after Becky's father Darren Galsworthy reported his daughter's disappearance on February 20. Six days later detectives recorded on camera an interview with Hoare in which she gave an account of her and her boyfriend Matthews' movements on the day Becky was last seen alive. See PA story COURTS Missing. Photo credit should read: Avon and 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 is said to have written back: "The one with the school girls doing porn :) I might have let my mind get away from me just a lil bit lol xxxx."

And Hoare allegedly replied: "So you watched some porn where a blonde 16-year-old is having sex with a really, really grumpy old man in a floating house and there's a talking dog?"

Experts recovered text messages exchanged between Matthews and Hoare on December 9 from phones handed to police.

At 12.58pm, one wrote: "F*** you bring me bak two pretty schoolgirls then :)..."

A reply at 12.59pm said: "lol yeh I'll just kidnap them from school..."

Later that day, at 6.14pm, one wrote: "Just went into Costcutter and saw a pretty petite girl. Almost knocked her out to bring home lol xoxo"

A reply 20 seconds later read: "Don't you 'almost' me... Now DO IT bitch!! xxxxx"

One then said: "lmfao yeah I'll just go back in time to when I saw her then time travel her to our attic lol xoxo"

Matthews admits killing Becky after he went to her bedroom in Crown Hill, Bristol, with a mask on his face to "teach her a lesson" and "scare her".

He claims he put Becky's body in his Vauxhall Zafira, drove home with Hoare, then waited until she was asleep before moving it to their bathroom.

The former TA soldier says he dismembered Becky in their bath, carefully wrapped each of the eight body parts. Hoare denies any involvement before, during and after the killing.

Police discovered body parts in suitcases and a blue storage box in a garden shed at 9 Barton Court, Bristol - 80 metres (260ft) from 14 Cotton Mill Lane, where Matthews and Hoare lived.

Members of Becky's family, sat in the public gallery, have fled court room two in tears during the prosecution case.

Yesterday, her aunt Sarah Broom left when a blood-stained green Boohoo jumper - thought to have been worn by Becky when she died - was shown to the jury.

The court previously heard how Becky fought for life in a "vigorous" struggle in which she suffered more than 40 injuries and died from suffocation.

A pathologist found 19 knife wounds on her body inflicted after her death - 15 stab wounds and a slash to the torso, a long cut down her chest and wounds to her shoulders.

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.

Earlier, Mr Groves told the jury that a Google search for the missing teenager on February 23 - four days after she was last seen alive - was attributable to Hoare.

Hoare also used Google to find online articles on the teenager's disappearance and searched the terms 'Becky Watts', 'Shauna' and 'Nathan Matthews' on February 26.

Mr Groves said the phone log detailing calls between Matthews and Karl Demetrius on February 23, the night Becky's body was allegedly moved to the shed, was deleted.

Donovan Demetrius also deleted all the text message data from his mobile phone, the court was told.

Later that morning, Ireland allegedly used his phone to search for "Disneyland holiday" and "hot places to go in March".

On February 24, Matthews texted his mother Anjie Galsworthy - Becky's stepmother - at 9.36am, writing: "Hi just thought I would update you the police have searched Shauna's house and obviously found nothing.

"Hope you are managing as best as possible. See you tomorrow."

Matthews later sent a text message to his boss at the Chinese takeaway where he worked as a delivery driver, saying he would not come into work for four weeks due to "major family issues".

"Everything is crazy, I'm very sorry," he wrote.

The jury also heard that Ireland, Parsons and Karl Demetrius exchanged a series of messages on instant messenger service Snapchat discussing the disappearance of Becky and the arrest of Matthews and Hoare on March 2.

Mr Groves explained that Snapchat allows users to send each other pictures and videos that are deleted after 10 seconds - meaning it was difficult for experts to recover the data.

One message found on Ireland's phone said: "We sort it in a bit."

And another message recovered from Parsons's handset said: "Relax we will sort it in a bit."

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News