Friday 22 November 2019

Stepbrother of 16-year-old Becky Watts charged with her murder to appear before court

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

Claire Hayhurst and Rod Minchin

The stepbrother of 16-year-old Becky Watts is set to face court charged with her murder.

Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend, Shauna Hoare, 21, will appear before magistrates in Bristol charged over her death.

Forensic officers search a property in Wilton Close, Bristol Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Forensic officers search a property in Wilton Close, Bristol Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Avon and Somerset police search around Barton Court in Bristol for missing teenager Rebecca Watts Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Avon and Somerset police search around Barton Court in Bristol for missing teenager Rebecca Watts Steve Parsons/PA Wire

A marked police van shielded by four uniformed officers on foot is thought to have taken the pair into the rear of the court.

Inside, the public gallery in court room one was packed, filled with about 40 people - mostly journalists.

Three uniformed police officers sat in front of the glass dock.

Read more: Stepbrother of Becky Watts (16) charged with her murder

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

Matthews is charged with the "murder of a person aged one year or older, namely between February 19 and March 3, murdered Rebecca Watts".

And Hoare is charged with perverting the course of justice between February 19 and February 28, namely that she "consistently lied to the police which had a tendency to pervert the course of justice".

Four men and one woman, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, remain in police custody.

Matthews and Hoare, who uses the surname Phillips on social media, were arrested on suspicion of Becky's kidnap on Saturday.

Avon and Somerset police search around Barton Court in Bristol for missing teenager Rebecca Watts Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Avon and Somerset police search around Barton Court in Bristol for missing teenager Rebecca Watts Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Avon and Somerset police search around Barton Court in Bristol for missing teenager Rebecca Watts Steve Parsons/PA Wire

They were later rearrested on suspicion of her murder and charged yesterday.

Hoare was previously taken to hospital by officers after "feeling unwell" in custody but returned after being seen by a doctor.

Becky, described as "wonderful" by her family, vanished from her home in Crown Hill, Bristol, at 11.15am on February 19.

Read more: Stepbrother and girlfriend questioned on suspicion of murder of 16-year-old Becky Watts

Avon and Somerset Police launched a huge search operation - involving six police teams each day - after she was reported missing the following afternoon.

On Monday night, detectives received information that Becky's body had been "cut up" and they attended a house in Barton Court, Barton Hill, Bristol.

Body parts were discovered at the address, which continues to be combed by forensics teams. A private ambulance was seen leaving the property on Tuesday afternoon.

Bouquets, teddies and cards have been left at the family home where Becky went missing, and at the site where body parts were found.

The five people arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender following the grim discovery are four men, aged 29, 29, 23 and 23, and one woman, also aged 23.

Matthews was identified as the teenager's stepbrother - the son of her father Darren's wife Anjie - by family members.

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