Sunday 4 December 2016

Mother of girl killed for a ‘free breakfast’ launches a civil case

Antony Stone

Published 17/10/2011 | 14:27

Rebecca Aylward
Rebecca Aylward

The mother of a schoolgirl murdered by her ex-boyfriend is launching a civil case against all those she claims could have stopped the killing.

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New evidence in the murder of Rebecca Aylward, 15, has emerged since her killer was jailed for life, mother Sonia Oatley claimed today.



Joshua Davies, 16, was found guilty of smashing in Rebecca's skull with a rock the size of a rugby ball.



He was jailed for life at Swansea Crown Court in September with a recommendation that he serve a minimum 14 years.



In a macabre joke that horrified the victim's family, Davies had claimed he would commit the murder for a free breakfast from a friend.



The schoolgirl, from Maesteg, Bridgend, South Wales, was killed in October last year after being lured to a wood by Davies in nearby Aberkenfig.



Previously, the teenagers had been in a relationship which finished in an acrimonious split about a year before the murder.



Davies had repeatedly spoken of murdering Rebecca both to friends and in an array of messages including on a social networking site.



Now Mrs Oatley claims that messages of which she was previously unaware have emerged since this summer's trial.



The discovery comes in the week which will see the family mark the first anniversary of Rebecca's death.



Mrs Oatley claims the evidence shows a core group were aware of the threat to Rebecca but failed to act to prevent her murder.



"I've spoken to the police about it but they do not intend to take any action themselves," she said today at a press conference in Bridgend.



"But I cannot let it drop there so I will be taking this on to a civil prosecution myself."



She said a lawyer acting on her behalf had seen an array of messages from mobile texts, MSN and others.



Her lawyer gained access to the messages from the police. She has not seen them herself, she said.



Most of what Mrs Oatley regards as new evidence did not figure in the trial of Davies although they were known to the police.



"There are an awful lot more messages that were not brought to light. They show that there were people who knew what was going to happen but failed to stop a murder," she said.



She added: "There was a large number who knew what he (Davies) was going to do but did nothing."



Mrs Oatley was speaking during a press conference held at the Heronston Hotel in Bridgend. Her daughter Jessica, 14, and son Jack, nine, were both present.



She said Rebecca's death could have been prevented and until all those who could have stopped it were prosecuted, justice will not have been done.



She also renewed her call for a review of life jail terms and urged the Prime Minister to get involved to ensure "life means life" for convicted killers.



She claimed that Davies was being held in a prison so comfortable that it was like a "holiday camp".



"It's just like a holiday camp. Very nice, a kind of home from home. They can order take-aways, earn pocket money, get access to a cinema and phones and even have a PS3."



She was speaking today after hitting out against Davies last week for comparing himself to the freed Amanda Knox on his Facebook page.



The message, which has since been taken down, read: "I was glad to hear about Amanda Knox. Hopefully it won't take that long for the truth to come out in my case."



Daughter Jessica Oatley said today: "As Rebecca's sister, I feel disgusted that her killer has alleged access to social networking.



"Whether directly, or indirectly, I am appalled that he is allowed to post a status claiming his innocence.



"Becca is not once acknowledged, only a plea for his freedom. I am also shocked to discover that a killer could be rewarded for good behaviour with up-to-date consoles and music stations."



She also called for all those wishing to mark the first anniversary of Rebecca's death on Saturday not to place flowers at the scene.



"I don't want it to become a shrine so I am taking away control from Joshua Davies. Becca didn't choose to end her life, he did."



Mrs Oatley also used the press conference today to present her daughter's former school with a memorial bench.



She went on to outline plans to set up a charitable foundation in her daughter's name to give financial help to promising students.



"Rebecca was academically gifted. Her passion for literature and thirst for knowledge saw her excel in the arts.



"The charity will be working closely with colleges and universities in offering small grants for students to help towards the cost of learning materials."



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