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Couple who 'unwittingly' helped hide Becky Watts' remains jailed

Published 05/02/2016

Becky Watts was murdered by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews
Becky Watts was murdered by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews

A couple who "unwittingly" helped the murderer of Becky Watts by hiding her remains in their garden shed have been jailed.

Becky, 16, was suffocated by her stepbrother Nathan Matthews after he hatched a sexually-motivated kidnap plot with his girlfriend Shauna Hoare.

The pair used a circular saw to dismember Becky's body in the bath of their home in Cotton Mill Lane, Bristol, before packaging her remains in cling film.

Matthews promised his neighbour Karl Demetrius, 30, a share of £10,000 for help moving and hiding the packages, stored in suitcases and a box.

Demetrius and his girlfriend Jaydene Parsons, 23, agreed to the deal and the items were moved into their garden shed - 80 metres (250ft) from Matthews' home.

Police gained entry to the locked shed and discovered Becky's remains - cut into eight parts - in the early hours of March 3 last year.

Parsons, mother to a young son and a 14-week-old baby, and Demetrius later admitted a charge of assisting an offender.

Bristol Crown Court heard the pair "could not have imagined" what they were storing for Matthews and believed it to be cannabis or stolen goods.

Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, jailed Demetrius for two years and Parsons for 16 months.

"The offender you assisted was Nathan Matthews who has been convicted of the murder of Rebecca Watts and other related offences," the judge said.

"He not only killed Miss Watts but he dismembered her body in preparation for disposal of it.

"You both knew Nathan Matthews but neither of you could have imagine that he was capable of the levels of depravity to which he descended."

Matthews was jailed for life and Hoare for 17 years after both were convicted of killing Becky at her home in Crown Hill, Bristol, on February 19 last year.

After Becky was suffocated, the pair placed her body in their Vauxhall Zafira and drove it to their home in Cotton Mill Lane in the city.

They dismembered her with an £80 saw purchased from B&Q, carefully packing her remains with cling film and tape.

On February 23, Demetrius agreed to hide a storage box and bags for Matthews after receiving a phone call from him.

Parsons texted her boyfriend, saying: "ah ok you guna hide it for him? we could do with the money lol xxxx", later adding: "cool that's a deposit on a house lol".

Grainy CCTV footage captured Matthews, Demetrius and his work colleague moving the items to the shed in the early hours of the following morning.

Demetrius and Parsons were arrested on the night of March 2, after Matthews confessed to killing Becky and directed police to the shed.

"You had unwittingly agreed to the hiding of the body of Rebecca Watts and objects connected to her abduction, killing and dismemberment," the judge said.

"You were motivated by money and knew that you were assisting Matthews to hide items which you believed were linked to a relevant offence.

"Those who assist offenders in ignorance of the offence that has been committed take a risk, and the punishment that follows must reflect the offence that has been committed."

Parsons wept as she was sentenced and Demetrius blew kisses to his family as the pair were led to the cells.

The pair previously apologised to Becky's family for their actions.

Matthews and Hoare are both appealing their convictions and sentences.

Detective Inspector Richard Ocone, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "Firstly, I would like pay tribute to Becky's family, who have not only had to go through the ordeal of losing her in such a horrific way, but having to wait almost a year for those involved in her death to be punished.

"All four people who played a part in Becky's death and the concealment of her body have now been sentenced for their actions.

"Nothing will ever fill the void in the lives of Becky's family and friends, but we hope that these final two sentences can finally bring them some much-deserved comfort."

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