Monday 24 April 2017

Stepbrother is found guilty of horrific murder of Becky (16)

Nathan Matthews
Nathan Matthews

Cahal Milmo in Bristol

The stepbrother of Becky Watts has been found guilty of murdering and dismembering the Bristol teenager following a botched kidnap attempt motivated by a sadistic sexual fantasy.

A jury took less than three hours yesterday to convict Nathan Matthews (28), of suffocating his 16-year-old stepsister in February after he had arrived at her home wearing a mask and equipped with a "kidnap kit" that included a stun gun and handcuffs.

His pregnant girlfriend Shauna Hoare (21), was cleared of murder but found guilty of Becky's manslaughter, after jurors rejected her claim she had known nothing of the horrific killing.

Struggle

Evidence showed that the couple's 5ft1in victim suffered 19 knife wounds inflicted after she had died in a violent struggle in the bedroom of her home in Crown Hill, Bristol.

Prosecutors said that Matthews and Hoare had hatched a sexually motivated plan to abduct Becky. Police found they exchanged text and social media messages revealing a shared sexual interest in petite teenage girls and fantasised about kidnappings.

Matthews was an avid user of pornography and viewed images of teenage girls almost daily.

The pair can be placed among Britain's most notorious killer couples, alongside Fred and Rose West or Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, for the calculating and macabre way they went about their crime. During a five-week trial at Bristol Crown Court, jurors heard that Matthews, a takeaway delivery driver, dragged his stepsister's body into the boot of his Vauxhall Zafira after the killing on 19 February and drove it to the home he shared with Hoare, some two miles away.

Over the ensuing days Matthews, with his girlfriend's knowledge, dismembered Becky's body, using a saw to cut her remains into eight pieces which were wrapped in plastic, salted and stored in a friend's garden shed.

There were gasps and shouts of "Yes" from the public gallery as the verdicts were delivered. Becky's father, Darren Galsworthy, and Matthews' mother, Anjie, sobbed.

The couple were also convicted of conspiring to kidnap Becky, perverting the course of justice and preventing a lawful burial.

Two others, Karl Demetrius and Jaydene Parsons, had previously pleaded guilty to assisting an offender for allowing their shed to be used to conceal Becky's body.

Mr Galsworthy said he wanted his stepson and his girlfriend to receive the death penalty. "Nathan was so arrogant he thought he could get away with it... I loved him like he was my own son. I don't now; I hate him... There is only one way of paying for the sort of crime and that is by losing their own life."

Tornado

Becky had successfully overcome anorexia after a troubled childhood and her family said that at the time of her death she had returned to her studies and become a "happy and joyful" teenager.

A statement read outside court on behalf of her mother, Tanya Watts, and other relatives said: "She was like a tornado, hurricane and sunbeam all at once."

The disappearance of Becky sparked a huge search involving 350 police officers and it was not until 11 days after her disappearance that her remains were found in the shed some 80 metres from the killers' home. During the search, Matthews had texted his mother feigning concern for the teenager's welfare. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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