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Becky 'murder' stepbrother remanded

The stepbrother of 16-year-old Becky Watts has appeared before a court charged with her murder.

Nathan Matthews, 28, did not enter a plea to the single charge during a short hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court.

His girlfriend, Shauna Hoare, 21, also appeared before the court charged with intending to pervert the course of public justice.

The pair, who share a terraced house in Cotton Mill Lane, Bristol, were dealt with in separate hearings before a district judge.

Charges allege that Matthews, who was unshaven, murdered Becky between February 18 and March 1 in the city of Bristol.

Hoare is accused of intending to pervert the course of public justice by "hindering" the police investigation to assist Matthews.

Members of the public gathered outside the court then punched and shouted at three white custody vans leaving the building.

District Judge Lynne Matthews told Matthews he would next appear before Bristol Crown Court tomorrow, via video link.

"As we all know, this case will have to go to the Crown Court," the judge told Matthews.

"I cannot entertain any application for bail this morning and thus I will remand you in custody until tomorrow."

Matthews, wearing a baggy blue t-shirt, showed no emotion as he was led to the cells by a female security officer.

Hoare, also wearing a baggy blue t-shirt, also did not enter a plea to the single charge against her and no bail application was made.

The charge states that Hoare "did a series of acts which had the tendency to pervert the course of public justice in that you hindered the police investigation to assist Nathan Matthews and intended for him to avoid detection for the murder of Rebecca Watts".

The judge said: "This case also has to go to the Crown Court and is connected to the previous case."

Hoare was also handcuffed to a female dock officer and led to the cells. She will next appear at Bristol Crown Court on April 2.

The public gallery of court room one, where the pair appeared, was packed with 40 people - mostly journalists.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said that five people arrested on Monday of suspicion of assisting an offender remain in custody.

They were arrested after detectives attended a house in Barton Court, Barton Hill in Bristol, following information that Becky's body had been "cut up".

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.

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.

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

Police launched a huge search after she was reporting missing the following afternoon, including a social media campaign using the hashtag #FindBecky.

Bouquets, teddies and cards have been left at Becky's family home, as well as at Barton Court, and mourners have attended churches across the city to pay their respects.

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

Belinda Robinson, 45, and her husband Chris, 64, from Bristol, waited at the rear of the court to see the van leave.

Mrs Robinson, who said her son Richard knew Becky, said: "It's tragic. I don't think it has hit me properly yet.

"My son is in prison and I just don't know how he is feeling as he has read about it. It's a tragedy. The poor family and friends."

Two fundraising pages to help Becky's family pay for her funeral have received almost £9,000 in donations.

Meanwhile, a district judge sitting at Bristol Magistrates' Court has granted detectives a further 24 hours to question five people arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender in connection with the Becky Watts investigation.

The four men - two aged 29 and two 23 - and a 23-year-old woman were arrested on Monday evening.


From Belfast Telegraph