Saturday 24 August 2019

Combined 50 years for pair over killing of teenager Becky Watts

Nathan Matthews (left) Shauna Hoare, inset Rebecca Watts
Nathan Matthews (left) Shauna Hoare, inset Rebecca Watts
Undated handout photo issued by Avon and Somerset Police of Becky Watts, as Nathan Matthews has been found guilty of murdering his stepsister following a trial at Bristol Crown Court. Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

Nathan Matthews and girlfriend Shauna Hoare have been sentenced to a combined total of 50 years over the killing of teenager Becky Watts.

Nathan Matthews could die behind bars after being sentenced to life imprisonment and told he will serve at least 33 years for the murder of his stepsister Becky Watts.

Girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, will serve 17 years' imprisonment for the manslaughter of the 16-year-old.

Trial judge Mr Justice Dingemans was in tears as he started paying tribute to Becky's family at the end of his sentencing remarks.

Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend targeted the 5ft 1in teenager due to their shared dislike of her and their interest in petite teenage girls.

They devised a plan to kidnap Becky from her home in Crown Hill, Bristol, and drove there on February 19 while she was alone.

Detectives say the truth about what happened to Becky that morning may never be known but a pathologist found she died of strangulation.

Becky suffered more than 40 injuries to her body as she bravely fought for her life against porn-obsessed Matthews and his cold-blooded partner.

After her death, the pair dismembered Becky with an £80 circular saw in the bathroom of their squalid home in Cotton Mill Lane - less than two miles away.

They callously laughed as they watched a parody of a Disney Frozen song, entitled Do You Want To Hide A Body, while Becky's remains lay just rooms away.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court took just three hours and 27 minutes to convict Matthews of Becky's murder, while Hoare was found guilty of the teenager's manslaughter.

Both were convicted of kidnap, perverting the course of justice, preventing a lawful burial and possessing two stun gun torches.

Passing sentence, the judge said: "I am sure, on the evidence that was adduced at the trial, that the planned kidnap of Becky was for a sexual purpose.

"It is apparent involving as it did her proposed abduction for a sexual purpose but in my judgment it does not require a whole life order in the circumstances where Nathan Matthews had been of previous good character and had directed the police after a long delay to Becky's remains.

"This is not in any sense to diminish the loss suffered by Becky's family.

"In my judgment the behaviour of both Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare in feigning concern with the family as the family desperately searched and looked for Becky is a further and serious aggravating feature.

"In my judgment the appropriate sentence for Mr Matthews is a mandatory life sentence with a minimum term of 33 years.

"This means that Mr Matthews, as a 28-year-old man, will be 61 before he might be considered for release and the reality is that he might never be released."

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