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Judge weeps in court as Becky Watts killer locked up for 33 years

Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare
Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare
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THE stepbrother of schoolgirl Becky Watts has been found guilty of murdering her during a sexually-motivated kidnap.

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.

Mr Justice Dingemans, who was in tears as he started paying tribute to Becky Watt's family

Mr Justice Dingemans, who was in tears as he started paying tribute to Becky Watt's family

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.

The uncle and aunt of murdered schoolgirl Becky Watts, Sam Galsworrthy and Sarah Broom, stand together as they issue a statement outside Bristol Crown Court

The uncle and aunt of murdered schoolgirl Becky Watts, Sam Galsworrthy and Sarah Broom, stand together as they issue a statement outside Bristol Crown Court

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.

The uncle and aunt of murdered schoolgirl Becky Watts, Sam Galsworrthy and Sarah Broom, hug each other outside Bristol Crown Court

The uncle and aunt of murdered schoolgirl Becky Watts, Sam Galsworrthy and Sarah Broom, hug each other outside Bristol Crown Court

“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.”

The judge said that Becky was murdered in her bedroom or on the landing of her home and then transported to Cotton Mill Lane.

“At some stage Becky’s body was dismembered with a power saw, which Nathan Matthews had purchased from B&Q the day after Becky had been murdered,” he said.

The uncle and aunt of murdered schoolgirl Becky Watts, Sam Galsworrthy and Sarah Broom, stand together as they issue a statement outside Bristol Crown Court

The uncle and aunt of murdered schoolgirl Becky Watts, Sam Galsworrthy and Sarah Broom, stand together as they issue a statement outside Bristol Crown Court

“Both Mr Matthews and Miss Hoare lied to the family and to the police, pretending not to know anything about Becky’s whereabouts, at a time when they were in the process of dismembering her.

“Everyone who saw them both, including the first police officers to investigate, were taken in by the apparently concerned couple.

“Their deceit of the family was particularly cruel and unusual and the family’s sense of betrayal by Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare is both understandable and justified.

“At the same time they were deceiving the family, Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare were watching a parody of a song from Frozen, using the words ‘Do you want to hide a body?’

“The dismemberment of Becky’s body has been fully described in the evidence. There are features which defy any reasonable explanation.”