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Becky Watts murder trial: Shauna Hoare wrongly portrayed as 'sex fiend'

Published 06/11/2015

Nathan Matthews had no sexual interest in Becky Watts, a jury heard
Nathan Matthews had no sexual interest in Becky Watts, a jury heard

The woman accused of murdering Becky Watts has been wrongly portrayed as a "sex fiend", her barrister told a jury.

Shauna Hoare, 21, allegedly suffocated the 16-year-old in a sexually motivated kidnap plot with her boyfriend Nathan Matthews, 28 - Becky's stepbrother.

Becky's body was moved from her home in Crown Hill, Bristol, and dismembered in the couple's bath in Cotton Mill Lane, Bristol, with a circular saw.

Her remains, packed into suitcases and a blue plastic storage box, were discovered in a garden shed 80 metres away by police on March 3.

A jury of 10 women and one man heard closing speeches in Matthews and Hoare's cases in Becky's murder trial, following 21 days of evidence.

Andrew Langdon QC, for Hoare, said the suggestion Hoare was sexually interested in Becky had "the unattractive sound of the bottom of the barrel being scraped".

She had a troubled upbringing and lost contact with family and friends after meeting Matthews as a young teenager, he told the jury.

The barrister described Hoare as a "survivor" who learned how to deal with Matthews to achieve what she wanted "so far as she could".

She sent messages about the kidnap of teenage girls and engaged in consensual threesomes with Matthews and a female friend.

"She was able to send highly inappropriate texts to excite or to please Nathan," Mr Langdon said.

"To appeal to his toilet humour as he inadequately termed it.

"Those text exchanges are shameful and she lied about them when confronted with them.

"Sex fiend Shauna Hoare? Her sexuality has moved centre stage in this trial. It is the motive advanced, the reason given for why she was involved in the kidnap plot."

Jurors were previously told that Hoare lied to police after they uncovered the messages, sent between November and December last year.

Hoare was compared to Lady Macbeth by prosecutor William Mousley QC but Mr Langdon questioned this while reading extracts of police interviews about her sex life.

"It's not exactly Lady Macbeth is it?" he asked. "Let's leave Shakespeare for the theatre. Try the case according to the evidence."

Hoare lived in a house filled with items Matthews - a self-confessed hoarder - had accumulated and was a victim of domestic violence.

"She had to deal with a man who was not straightforward and who was also moody and he would, when angry, assault her," Mr Langdon said.

He questioned whether Matthews would inform Hoare, his partner of six years, that he had killed Becky in a botched kidnap plot.

"Did they have the sort of relationship where he could go crying to her and beg her for help?" he asked.

"Or would he keep it a secret, would he try to stay in control?"

On February 20 - the day after Becky's death - Hoare searched for Do You Want To Hide A Body, a parody of the Disney Frozen song Do You Want To Build A Snowman.

The clip, referring to a body being in more than one piece, was allegedly played while Becky's dismembered body lay in the couple's bath feet away.

"If Shauna knew what had happened and what Nathan was doing would she think it was time for a joke and a laugh?" Mr Langdon asked.

DNA attributable to Hoare discovered on a dust mask and bags in the shed where Becky's body parts were hidden could have been transferred by Matthews, he said.

The barrister said Matthews's actions had caused "emotional carnage", adding "the wrongful conviction of Shauna Hoare would result in further carnage".

Adam Vaitilingam QC, for Matthews, asked the jury to consider the evidence in the case instead of their emotions towards his client.

"A man who has shown himself to be capable of killing a 16-year-old and then treating her body with such a lack of compassion and humanity," he said.

"I do not ask for sympathy for Nathan Matthews. He deserves none.

"I ask that you approach his case in the same fair way you would approach any defendant charged with any crime.

"His right to a fair trial from an independent jury hasn't disappeared because of what he has done."

The former TA soldier was motivated to kidnap Becky because of her behaviour towards his mother, Anjie Galsworthy, he insisted.

That "badly conceived, bone-headed, extreme and frankly absurd" kidnap plan resulted in Becky's death.

"There is no evidence to suggest that he had a sexual interest in Becky," Mr Vaitilingam said.

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

He admits killing Becky, perverting the course of justice, preventing the 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.

Karl Demetrius, 30, and his partner Jaydene Parsons, 23, the occupants of the Barton Court property, admit assisting an offender.

Donovan Demetrius, of Marsh Lane, Bristol, and James Ireland, 23, of Richmond Villas, Avonmouth, deny the charge.

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