Becky Watts murder trial jury visits crime scenes


Jurors in the Becky Watts murder trial have seen where the teenager died, the bathroom where she was dismembered and the garden where her body parts were found.

Becky, 16, was allegedly murdered in her bedroom at 18 Crown Hill, St George, Bristol by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21.

It is claimed Matthews and Hoare targeted Becky in a sexually motivated kidnap plot on February 19 this year, which culminated in her death.

Her body was put in the boot of their Vauxhall Zafira before being driven on the night of the alleged murder to their home at 14 Cotton Mill Lane, Barton Hill and later dismembered in the bathroom.

The teenager's remains were hidden in a friend's shed at nearby 9 Barton Court, later being discovered by police who had launched a major hunt for Becky.

Matthews, a former TA soldier turned takeaway delivery driver, admits killing Becky, dismembering her body with an electric circular saw and moving her remains to the shed with the help of others.

For today's visit the 12-strong panel, along with the judge and barristers, were driven by coach from Bristol Crown Court to the three locations. The four defendants had exercised their right not to attend.

The jury of two men and 10 women were split into three groups of four to be shown around Becky's home, Matthews and Hoare's house at Cotton Mill Lane and the garden of 9 Barton Court.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Dingemans, and barristers were shown around the properties first by a police officer ahead of the jurors in their small groups.

They were driven the four miles from the city centre court to the semi-detached home where Becky lived with her father Darren Galsworthy and his wife Anjie - Matthews' mother.

Jurors walked around the ground floor of the property, into the conservatory and then through to the garden where they were able to look up to Becky's bedroom window.

They were taken upstairs to see Becky's room. They returned to the coach and were driven the two miles from Crown Hill to Cotton Mill Lane where Becky's body was dismembered in the bath.

Due to the condition of Matthews and Hoare's modern mid-terrace property - piled high with black sacks of belongings and clutter - the jury were split into four groups of three.

The judge had earlier warned the jury that the police had completely emptied the house as part of their inquiries and although everything had been returned it may not be in the same position or even the same room as before.

He also warned the jurors about the general cleanliness of the house now compared to how it was at the time of Becky's death.

The bath had also been removed by the police during their investigation and has since been returned but not sealed in properly.

The house has also been subjected to extensive forensic testing, so jurors had to wear protective gloves and disposable overshoes while inside the property.

The panel were shown the downstairs and the upstairs of the property, including the bathroom. They were also able to look into the loft hatch from the landing.

From there they walked the 80 metres to 9 Barton Court - the home of Karl Demetrius and Jaydene Parsons - and looked at the garden of the property where the shed containing Becky's remains was located.

Again, the jury was told that the shed had been removed by police but a new one stands in its place.

Before leaving for the visit, the judge told the jury: "You will be broken down into groups simply so that people can get around.

"An officer will point out various rooms. Please if you have any questions, please write them down and then hand them to the jury bailiff.

"If there is anything that needs answering there and then I will deal with it. Please do not engage in any conversations with the officers as they do not have any formal role in the proceedings.

"As far as 14 Cotton Mill Lane is concerned you will hear later there was extensive testing of the premises that required everything being taken out.

"Things have not been put back in the same order and may not be in the same room and some things might be in bags now that were not then."

The judge added: "At least it gives you a general impression of the property."

Matthews, of Hazelbury Drive, Warmley, South Gloucestershire, denies murder and conspiracy to kidnap.

He has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, preventing 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.

Donovan Demetrius, 29, of Marsh Lane, Redfield, Bristol, and James Ireland, 23, of Richmond Villas, Avonmouth, each deny a charge of assisting an offender.

Karl Demetrius, 29, and his partner Jaydene Parsons, 23, both of Barton Court, Bristol, have pleaded guilty to assisting an offender after the teenager's body was discovered in their shed. Both maintain they were unaware of what the packages actually contained.