Becky Watts: Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare appear in courtStepbrother of 16-year-old is charged with her murder and his girlfriend is charged with perverting the course of justice
Steven Morris Thursday 5 March 2015
The stepbrother of Becky Watts has appeared in court charged with her murder exactly two weeks after the 16-year-old vanished from her home in Bristol.
Nathan Matthews, 28, was led in and out of the glass-fronted dock at Bristol magistrates’ court in handcuffs and showed little emotion as the charge of murder was read out.
Matthews will next appear – via videolink – at Bristol crown court on Friday. A preliminary hearing in Hoare’s case will take place on 2 April.
Security around the court in the centre of Bristol, two miles from where body parts were found on Monday night, was tight as anger grows over the killing of the teenager. A marked police van flanked by four officers on foot is believed to have transported the pair into the court complex.
Matthews and Hoare – also known as Phillips – were arrested last weekend as police searched for Becky, who vanished on 19 February. They were initially questioned on suspicion of kidnapping. On Monday, detectives revealed that they had been further arrested on suspicion of murder and the police had until 3.50pm on Wednesday to release or charge the pair.
Shortly after 4pm on Wednesday, Avon and Somerset police announced they had been charged: Matthews with murder, Hoare with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Ahead of their appearances on Thursday, district judge Lynne Matthews warned the media that there would be automatic restrictions over what could be reported. She said she did not expect to see a “flurry of activity” on the internet.
Wearing a blue T-shirt and looking tired and unshaven, Matthews was led into the dock in handcuffs by a female custody officer. When asked what his name was he did not hear and said: “Sorry?” He then gave his name his date of birth – 9 January 1987 – and his address as a street in Warmley, a village on the outskirts on Bristol.
The district judge told him the case would have to go to crown court. “As we all know, this case will have to go to the crown court. I cannot entertain any application for bail this morning and thus I will remand you in custody until tomorrow,” she said.
Matthews nodded as the judge told him he would appear at the crown court via videolink. The female custody officer put the handcuffs back on and he was led out. The hearing took a minute or so.
A few minutes later Hoare, who wore a baggy dark blue T-shirt, was brought into the same dock. Her long brown hair looked unwashed. Speaking very quietly, she confirmed her name, address and date of birth – 12 February 1994 – and again showed little emotion. She gave a different address from Matthews’ – Cotton Mill Lane in Barton Hill, Bristol, which has been the subject of intensive police searches. The judge told her that she would be remanded in custody given the seriousness of the offence.
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”. Her hearing also only lasted about a minute.
The court was packed with reporters. Becky’s father, Darren Galsworthy, and stepmother, Anjie Galsworthy, did not attend.
A small group gathered outside the court and four members of the public angrily struck the side of the custody van as it departed.
Linda Dobson, 47, who was with her husband, Donny, 52, said: “What’s happened is horrifying. All of Bristol are livid. She was a young girl with so much to live for.” Another person, who lives near Becky’s home, said: “I live in that area, my kids go to school there, they play in the parks. But now I’m too scared to let them go alone.”
Matthews is a delivery driver and claims on his Facebook page that he served in the British army. Hoare posted appeals for information about Becky on social media before she was arrested. They have a young child.
Police continue to hold another four men and a woman, all in their 20s, on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Hoare was briefly taken to hospital on Tuesday night. A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that the woman in custody arrested on suspicion of the murder of Becky Watts was taken to hospital after feeling unwell in custody. She was seen by a doctor and taken back into custody a short time later.”
Members of Becky’s family have expressed their anguish at what has happened while churches and other religious centres in Bristol held services, vigils and opened books of condolence.
Becky’s brother, Dan Galsworthy, 20, posted a message on Facebook describing his loss. “This has left a deep hole in my heart and will continue to haunt me,” he wrote. “To everyone messaging and supporting me I haven’t replied to any messages because I simply have no words, I thank you all and deeply appreciate everyone’s support. Love to you all.”
Sarah Broom, the sister of Becky’s father, Darren Galsworthy, posted on her Facebook page: “He [Galsworthy] is completely and utterly broken and there is nothing in this world of comfort to him. How does a parent ever recover from this? How can a family?”
Addressing the 16-year-old, she said: “So with tears rolling down my face Becky, you beautiful, beautiful soul, you have touched so many hearts and changed so many lives! Your shy, inverted nature has outshone and touched a whole city and beyond!”
Becky’s uncle, Sam Galsworthy, told ITV News: “It was the most undignified end to a beautiful life, full of promise. As her family, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we know it is there and the support from family, friends and the nation will help us find that light.
“She will live on in the hearts of all of us. We will reclaim Rebecca’s dignity. And eventually, as a community, we will lay her to rest with the utmost respect and love.”
It emerged on Wednesday that a house on the other side of Bristol, in Avonmouth, had also been searched. A neighbour there said: “Two riot vans full of officers turned up and went into the house. Police wouldn’t say much, but we were told it was to do with the young girl, Becky Watts.” Police confirmed that the operation was connected.
Becky’s boyfriend, Luke Oberhansli, was among those who has laid flowers outside her father and stepmother’s home. Nearby, a book of condolence was set up next to a candle and flowers at St Ambrose church.
The Rev David James said: “Rebecca was a pupil of Summerhill junior school just round the corner, so she would have come here every year for the Christmas carol service. These events have truly shocked people.”
Jan Bird, 64, from St George, Bristol, visited the church with two friends to pay their respects. She said: “It’s a nightmare; a living nightmare for that family that will never go away.”
An online fundraising appeal has been set up on behalf of the Galsworthy family in a bid to raise £20,000 to pay for her funeral.
The message on the Go Fund Me page says: “With the support of the public it is our wish to give Rebecca the biggest sendoff we possibly can to honour this much-loved girl, taken far too soon. We also wish to support her immediate family while they continue to grieve through the unbearable pain and take away any financial burden they may face in the aftermath of this tragedy.”http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/05/becky-watts-nathan-matthews-and-shauna-hoare-appear-in-court